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Two Leggings: The making 'of a ^ 
warrior. " row 

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Two Leggings: 




Two Leggings: 

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York Established 1834 

All maps in this book are by Donald Pitcher. 

Copyright 1967 by Peter Nabokov 

All rights reserved. Except for use in a review, the 
reproduction or utilization of this work in any form 
or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now 
known or hereafter invented, including photocopying 
and recording, and in any information storage and 
retrieval system is forbidden without the written 
permission of the publisher. 

L.C. Card 67-15412 

Designed by Elliot S. Epstein 

Manufactured in the United States of America 
by Vail-Ballou Press, Inc. 

First Printing 

In Memory 

of William <A, Ttarkejj Sr. 
and William Wildschut 


To the modern traveler by air or auto over or across the grassy 
plains of Montana east of the Rocky Mountains this sparsely settled 
ranching and farming country looks like a serene and peaceful land. 
It may be difficult for him to realize that until less than ninety years 
ago this was a vast theater of warfare in which more than a dozen 
Indian tribes of buffalo-hunting nomads only a few generations re- 
moved from the Stone Age waged relentless intertribal wars. Their 
many small war parties raided distant enemy camps to steal horses or 
take scalps. And sometimes rival parties met on the open plains or in 
river or creek bottoms in bitterly fought, small-scale battles. Even 
though pitched battles with several hundred Indians on a side were 
few, war losses were frequent and heavy. 

A number of aged veterans of these wars survived until recent years. 
Around evening camp or cabin fires these elderly men told and retold 
their war experiences to their children and grandchildren. Yet few 
far too few of their real life stories, rich in vivid detail, have been 
faithfully translated from the oral literature of the illiterate Indians 
to the pages of white men's books. These old warriors were of many 
tribes Assiniboin, Blackfoot, Blood, Cheyenne, Cree, Flathead, Gros 
Ventre, Kutenai, Nez Perce, Piegan, Pend d'Oreille, Shoshoni, and 
Sioux as well as Crow. But many of the most dramatic episodes were 
related by old Crow warriors. 

The Crow Indians of the middle Yellowstone Valley had a long 
and proud warrior tradition. They were never a large tribe. But dur- 
ing the late years of the eighteenth century they wrested this fine 
big-game hunting ground richest in natural resources of any portion 
of the entire Upper Missouri region from the Shoshoni. Through- 
out the first decades of the nineteenth century they fought to hold 
their country and to protect themselves from repeated incursions by 


the many enemy tribes who surrounded them. Caught between the 
powerful Sioux on the east and the aggressive Blackfoot tribes on the 
north, the Crow were in the most desperate military position of any 
Upper Missouri tribe. From the time of George Catlin (in 1832) 
white traders who knew the Crow solemnly predicted that these 
Indians would be annihilated by their more numerous enemies. So 
frequent were Blackfoot and Sioux raids during mid-century that fur 
traders abandoned their fortified posts in the Crow country. Even 
the hardiest wilderness traders could not be persuaded to operate a 
post in the dangerous land of the Crows at that time. During the 
i86os the westward-advancing Sioux did dislodge the Crow from the 
easternmost portion of their Montana homeland. But the United States 
Army helped the Crow to regain much of their lost territory during 
the hard-fought Sioux Wars. 

So the Crow Indians retreated for a time but they survived as a 
people. They never gave up their struggle. Nor were these stout- 
hearted warriors content to fight only defensive actions. Nineteenth- 
century Crow war parties were seen as far south as the Arkansas, on 
the banks of which they won one of their greatest battles with the 
Cheyenne, and as far north as the country of the Blood tribe of the 
Blackfoot in Alberta. They crossed the Rockies to harass the Flat- 
head and Shoshoni in their homelands, and they struck the camps of 
the mighty Sioux east of the Black Hills. 

This constant struggle for survival against great odds in more than 
a hundred years of intertribal warfare did not fail to leave its stamp 
upon the customs and the character of the Crow people. Through- 
out the first half of the nineteenth century they steadfastly refused 
white man's liquor and chose to exchange their beaver pelts and finely 
dressed buffalo robes for firearms, ammunition, and other substantial 
and useful goods. To increase their numbers they adopted boys and 
women captured in their wars. Although their young men stole horses 
from the mountain men, the Crow Indians were known as people 
who did not kill white traders and trappers as the Blackfoot did. They 
adopted several traders into their tribe who actively assisted them in 
their wars against other tribes. Among the Crows alone, the Sun Dance 
was performed as a sacred ceremony to help warriors gain revenge 
upon their enemies. Even the laxness of sexual morality among the 
Crow might be explained as a form of release from the constant ten- 
sions of a way of life in which life itself might be snuffed out at any 


This constant straggle for survival also left its mark upon the in- 
dividual Crow. Fur traders observed that no other Indians of the Up- 
per Missouri were so well dressed or bragged of their tribal affiliation 
as frequently or as vociferously as the Crow. And when a tall Crow 
warrior informed them, "I am a Crow," they knew by his bearing 
and tone of voice that they were in the presence of a man of courage 
as well as pride. 

Two Leggings, the teller of the story you are about to read, was 
such a man. He was above all else a Crow warrior. And his story tells 
us quite as much of tribal values that motivated and guided his actions 
as it does of his personal escapades. The successful warriors of his 
tribe were his boyhood heroes. And in his doggedly persistent efforts 
to win a name for himself by risking his life on repeated war parries 
over a period of more than two decades, he reflected the strong cul- 
tural compulsion upon the males of his tribe to seek to emulate or sur- 
pass the brave deeds of older Crow heroes. So strongly did Two Leg- 
gings react to these cultural stimuli that repeated failures and limited 
successes did not discourage him. He was one of the last Crow In- 
dians to abandon the warpath. Significantly also, Two Leggings 
ended his story with an account of his last war experience. For him 
it was not the extermination of the buffalo but the end of intertribal 
warfare that marked the demise of the traditional Crow way of life. 

Throughout Two Leggings' story runs the persistent theme of his 
quest for religious power. It reflects the tribal faith as well as his per- 
sonal belief in the ability of supernatural helpers, whose aid was ob- 
tained through traditionally proper acts, to protect and to assist the 
individual warrior. It was a strong faith that gave Crow men hope 
and made the harshness of their life tolerable. Two Leggings' repeated 
efforts to obtain supernatural power through his own quests for 
visions, and his settlement for power transferred to him by older 
and more successful men, reflect both the Crow religious ideal and 
the culturally acceptable alternative. His war experiences illustrate 
again and again the reactions of a Crow man of faith to particular 
critical situations. They reveal the fundamental roles of war medi- 
cines and war bundles in the conduct of Crow warfare. And they 
show us the impossibility of understanding this warfare without a 
basic knowledge of the tribal religious beliefs and customs. 

The reader who has not known aged, illiterate Plains Indians of 
Two Leggings' generation may marvel at the ability of this elderly 
man to recall seemingly minute details of his youth and young man- 

\ ix 

hood. But those who have heard other elderly Indians recall their 
first-hand experiences have learned that illiteracy had its compensa- 
tions. Forced to rely upon his memory, the intelligent Indian devel- 
oped this faculty to a remarkable degree. And repeated retelling of 
experiences over a period of years helped to fix the details in his mind. 
Nevertheless, Two Leggings' vivid memories would have been lost 
to us had not William Wildschut recognized that the personal expe- 
riences this aged Crow Indian related to him comprised a primary 
source for an understanding of Crow Indian life which was worth 
preserving for future generations. We are indebted to Mr. Wildschut 
for his foresight in recognizing this fact, as well as for his painstaking 
care in transferring Two Leggings' verbal reminiscences to paper. 
Peter Nabokov has not only edited the Wildschut manuscript, but 
he has provided a series of introductions which relate the adventures 
of Two Leggings more closely to the experience of the entire Crow 
tribe. And so these three Two Leggings, William Wildschut, and 
Peter Nabokov have combined their knowledge and talents to pre- 
sent us with a book that the general reader should find both fasci- 
nating and understandable. At the same time the book is a contribu- 
tion to biography, to history, and to ethnology. 

John C. Ewers 
Senior Anthropologist 
Smithsonian Institution 


A FAMOUS MAN, whose life has figured in events of historical moment, 
writes his autobiography to clarify those events, give personal in- 
terpretations of their significance, and detail his own participation in 
them. Everything he describes even the most trivial recollections 
will shed light on personal characteristics and public choices which 
affected history. 

The ordinary man, whose existence is far removed from centers of 
power, is rarely prompted to recall his days. He finds it hard to un- 
derstand why his life story should have an audience. While men of 
renown have always documented their experiences, or storytellers 
have done it for them, only recently have representatives of a culture 
been asked to relate the rhythms of their lives. The request has come 
from anthropologists, whose primary concern is with revealing the 
social behavior of a people, not individual peculiarities. A "great" man, 
to the extent of his influence, becomes supra-cultural and is only of 
specialized use to them. 

Two Leggings' story is a hybrid of these approaches. Intended by 
both its subject and William Wildschut, the Museum of the Ameri- 
can Indian's field researcher who transcribed the original material, to 
be the first, more traditional variety, its real value lies in the picture 
it yields of key motivations in Crow male life. 

Two Leggings was only a minor leader. His war record was not 
spectacular. Despite the frequent "Chief" title applied by Wildschut 
and others, he does not appear to have risen past the rank of pipe- 
holder, roughly the equivalent of a platoon lieutenant. None of his 
fasts yielded the life-guiding medicine which he describes as the pre- 
requisite for public success. And his eventual resort to obtaining such 
important medicine property through the humbling and second-rate 
procedure of purchase is tantamount to a confession of personal 

To compensate for the lack of great battle recountings Wildschut 

filled his manuscript with Two Leggings' elaborate, hopeful prepa- 
rations for such feats. His rise to the rank he finally attains earns him 
many of the attributes of an establishment cog lack of imagination, 
destroyed individuality, and increased dependence on ritual. Two 
Leggings' life story is about a man whose ambition is completely cul- 
turally defined and, what is rarely the case with an extraordinary 
man, culturally predictable. What Wildschut managed to get on 
paper was the process of this ambition being instilled and the process 
of the sanctioning which formed its release. 

Two Leggings divulges no surprising ethnological data. All the 
ceremonies have been documented in detail in Robert H. Lowie's 
comprehensive monographs for the Museum of Natural History. Nor 
is any startling historical information revealed. Two Leggings' ad- 
ventures seem quite insular, in marked contrast with many of his 
Crow contemporaries who served as scouts for the United States mili- 
tary during important campaigns and who touched pioneer life more 
intimately. *~ 

The book is a series of an old man's backward glances. People alter 
events in retelling. Often this is not dishonesty but the memory pick- 
ing out what it enjoys remembering, how it likes to think of what has 
happened. The choice memory makes, what constitutes the complete- 
ness of a story, would be different for a Crow than for a member of 
our culture, and that choice is in evidence throughout Two Leggings' 
recollections. They are the Crow idealization of a coming-of-age 
struggle singularly parallel to coming-of-tribal-rnembership. Two 
Leggings believes, from his hoary vantage point where he thinks he 
can survey the totality of his existence, that he is seeing a Crow leg- 
end brought to life, Crow truths borne out. His earlier raids were un- 
satisfactory, he is convinced, because he had not gone through pre- 
scribed cultural channels, and whatever problems arose to disturb the 
success of his later raids could be chalked up to a faulty performance 
of his mentor's formulas for successful war parties. He sees himself 
as having paid dearly for once fabricating a buffalo-hunting medi- 
cine and remembers the ultimate gratification at discovering that there 
are no shortcuts to divine approbation and that one must bow to 
earthly authority in order to succeed. 

With Two Leggings remarking so often to Wildschut how the 
disrespectful young Crows never harken to the old ways, we have 
watched the entire cycle of a Crow life and have witnessed at 
close range the mechanics of the control that tribal membership en- 


A Dutch-born businessman, William Wildschut made his home in 
Billings, Montana, from the fall of 1918 to June 1929. During this 
time he conducted various ethnological projects among the Crow 
Indians. The Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, has 
published two compilations of his collections and notes, Crow Indian 
Medicine Bundles and Crow Indian Beadwork, both edited by John 
C. Ewers. 

After meeting the River Crow Two Leggings in the summer of 
1919 at a return celebration for three Crow World War I veterans, 
Wildschut began making periodic visits to the old man's home seven 
miles south of Hardin along the Bighorn River for the purpose of 
writing his life story. Their contact and this project were maintained 
until Two Leggings' death in April 1923. 

Usually these talks were held at Two Leggings' homestead, a house 
made of timbers from old Fort Custer and a tipi along the river where 
Two Leggings preferred to spend his time. Mrs. L. A. Taylor, Wild- 
schut's sister-in-law, who occasionally aided as a stenographer, re- 
members three week-long winter sessions during which Wildschut 
rented a hotel room for Two Leggings. 

Sometimes Bull Does Not Fall Down, a childhood companion of 
Two Leggings, would join these sessions, verifying incidents and en- 
joying memories. Often Wildschut brought steaks for his hosts and 
candy for their children. Each talk began with the customary smoke. 

As his interpreter, Wildschut employed Jasper Long, a Crow In- 
dian of St. Xavier. Mrs. Ellen D. Wildschut, the author's widow, 
thinks he might also have used Thomas H. Leforge, the famous 
"White Crow Indian." An interview lasted the duration of a single 
episode or until, after some three hours of continuous talking, Two 
Leggings grew tired. Since Wildschut did not speak Crow, the Indian 
would talk to Long, complementing his narration with the illustra- 
tive sign language which Wildschut apparently could understand. 
When Mrs. Taylor assisted, she took Long's translation verbatim in 
shorthand. When Wildschut was alone she believes he wrote as rap- 
idly as possible. To me, Long alleged that he wrote out an English 
version for Wildschut, and on occasion conducted his own inter- 
views which he then mailed for a fee. 

Later Mrs. Wildschut could not recall how much time usually 
elapsed between interview and rewriting Wildschut would work 
this material into the original story, being careful not to distort or 
change any meanings. While Wildschut stated that he read back his 
stories to Two Leggings until there was agreement, Mrs. Taylor could 


provide no indication as to how this was accomplished. The episodes 
had been related out of chronological order, which was imposed on 
the final draft. 

A copy of the finished 48o~page manuscript accompanied the other 
Wildschut papers in the archives of the Museum of the American In- 
dian. Although Wildschut had hoped it would be published as a sepa- 
rate book, he privately expressed dismay that the public had lost in- 
terest in American Indians. 

In the fall of 1962, Dr. Frederick J. Dockstader, the Museum's di- 
rector, told me of the manuscript. After reading it, I submitted a let- 
ter of suggestions concerning its preparation for publication as a 
Museum monograph. Two years later I handed him a rewritten 280- 
page version. An appendix on page 213 describes and illustrates my 
treatment of the original work. Dr. Dockstader believed the book 
deserved more general circulation than a Museum publication would 
receive and generously located a publisher. 

Dates for Two Leggings' birth, as for all early Indian life on the 
fringes of pioneer society, are not precise. Wildschut maintained that 
Two Leggings was seventy-six years old when their talks began in 
1919. This would make him eighty years old when he died, according 
to Wildschut, on April 23, 1923. Two Leggings' obituary in the 
Billings Gazette states that he was seventy-six years old when he died, 
which would place his birth date in 1847. In Volume IV of Edward 
S. Curtis' The North American Indian, p. 207, Two Leggings is re- 
corded as having been born about 1848. Finally, Two Leggings' in- 
dividual history card in the Crow Indian Agency files gives his birth 
year as 1851 and his death date as April 20, 1923. His mother is re- 
corded as Strikes At Different Camps, his father as No Wife. Al- 
though Wildschut has Two Leggings remembering his father's name 
as Four, this discrepancy could be an example of either the common 
ownership by a man of two or more names or of the wide spectrum 
of relations classified as "father." 

In a hearing held September 9, 1924, to determine the claims to Two 
Leggings' holdings, Ties Up Her Bundle, Two Leggings' wife, testi- 
fied that they had married around 1880 when she was fifteen years 
old. They never had any children but adopted Red Clay Woman be- 
cause she was the daughter of his wife's sister, When she gave birth 
soon afterward they adopted her son, Sings To The Sweat Lodge, 
also named Amos Two Leggings. Ties Up Her Bundle stated that 
she knew of only one brother of Two Leggings, Chases The Enemy 

Wearing A Coyote Hide On His Back, certainly the Wolf Chaser of 
the manuscript, and said that he had long been dead. 

In August 1962, I searched out Amos Two Leggings. A tall man, 
quiet and dignified in spotless cowboy garb, he had nothing but warm 
memories of his adopted father and through an interpreter related 
a few as we drove to the location of Two Leggings' homestead. Noth- 
ing remained but some rusty agricultural hardware buried in high 
grass. When he located the site of Two Leggings' sweat lodge he 
recalled being sent to fetch the old man and finding him dead inside. 

Other Crows wondered why I was bothering with such a minor 
leader, a man who had never achieved the stature of a Bellrock or a 
Plenty Coups. The Billings Gazette obituary reported: "Although 
Plenty Coups was the ranking chief since the death of Medicine Crow, 
Two Leggings had equal influence although both as a rule worked 
in harmony." However, Crow informants implied that their relation- 
ship often went against this rule, understandable when one views Two 
Leggings' unrelenting concern with status and Plenty Coups' estab- 
lished fame. In addition, they belonged to rival warrior societies. 

Most writers on the Crow of Two Leggings' time have given him 
passing mention. In Curtis there is this abbreviated biography of Two 
Leggings: "Having no great medicine derived from his own vision, he 
was adopted into the Tobacco order by Bull Goes Hunting who 
gave him his medicine of a fossil or a stone, roughly shaped like a 
horse facing both ways. Two Leggings thus became a war-leader. In 
pursuing some Piegans who had captured a woman in the Absaroke 
camp opposite Ft. C. F. Smith on the Bighorn, he counted dashke 
[coup] and captured a gun by the same act a high honor. Led two 
parties against the Hunkpapa Sioux, each time taking scalps. Cap- 
tured fifty horses from the Yanktonai at Ft. Peck and with Deaf Bull 
led a party that brought back eighty horses from the Teton Sioux." 
The North American Indian, Vol. IV, 1909, p. 207. 

Like Curtis, Lowie noted Two Leggings' relationship with his 
medicine father: "Looks-at-a-bull's-penis made medicine for Two- 
leggings, asking him to choose between killing a person and captur- 
ing horses. Two-leggings chose the latter and brought two horses, 
one of them a buckskin." Religion of the Crow Indians, p. 390. 

Thomas H. Leforge, whose memoirs as a Crow squaw man were 
recorded by Dr. Thomas B. Marquis, first came in contact with his 
future hosts in the spring of 1865 when "Two Leggings and some 
other heads of families had their buffalo-skin tepee lodges pitched 


near the village [Bozeman] ." Memoirs of a White Crow Indian, 
1928, p. 14. But he does not mention Two Leggings again. 

During a visit to the Crow reservation in September 1965, I was 
told a story about Two Leggings in his later years. It was related a 
bit defiantly, as if this book would put an unworthy man on a pedes- 
tal. In fairness I promised to include it. 

When Hardin, the largest town on the reservation, planned its first 
rodeo, all the Crow chiefs were invited. Accordingly Two Leggings 
showed up in full dress. But the gatekeeper refused to admit him be- 
cause he lacked an invitation. Two Leggings argued that he was a 
chief, but the keeper was adamant. Weeping in the street outside the 
rodeo grounds, Two Leggings made a curse. According to my friends, 
the Hardin rodeo has been plagued with rainy days ever since. 

The distant ancestors of Two Leggings and his people were a 
Siouan-speaking group who migrated out of the northern Midwest 
to meet the Mandan Indians. Soon named the Hidatsa, this tribe 
evolved an origin myth in which their founders climbed a grapevine 
out of the bowels of the earth and emerged from the waters of Devil's 
Lake, in present-day North Dakota, before traveling westward. At 
the mouth of Knife River the Mandans taught the new arrivals how 
to build circular, semisubterranean earth lodges and helped them 
cultivate corn, squash, pumpkins, and black beans, a diet augmented 
by sporadic hunting. A trivial incident after such a hunt gave the 
Crows their separate identity. An argument between the wives of two 
chiefs, quite possibly clan leaders, over the contents of a buffalo's 
stomach blossomed into a major schism. Following a brief battle, one 
leader, No Vitals, led his people farther westward to territory north 
of the Missouri in present-day Montana. Conjectures differ widely 
as to the possible date of this separation, the fur trader Edwin Thomp- 
son Denig placing it as recently as 1776, Lowie as long as five hundred 
years ago, and Curtis, by a backward count based on the average dura- 
tion of a head chief's term of office, dating it around 1676. Crow acqui- 
sition of horses probably did not antedate the separation but very likely 
occurred soon afterward, easing their transformation from a horti- 
cultural people to buffalo-following nomads. The prominent an- 
thropologist-historian of the Upper Missouri, John C. Ewers, feels 
these events occurred within the eighteenth century. 

The secessionists were to be known by their Missouri-dwelling 
kinsmen as They Who Refused The Paunch, and came to call them- 
selves the "Absaroke," or Children Of The Large-Beaked Bird, a 

species no longer seen in their country. From this came the French 
mistranslation, gens de corbeaux, hence Crow. 

Once they had moved south of the Missouri it is uncertain whether 
as Shoshoni conquerors or Blackfeet victims they established hunt- 
ing rights to the land they hold today. As one chief is reported to have 
described this country during an early treaty conference: "I have 
but one tipi. It has but four poles. It is held to the ground by big rocks. 
My east lodge pole touches the ground at the Black Hills, my south, 
the ground at the headwaters of the Wind River, my west, the snow- 
capped Absaroke and Beartooth Range, the north lodge pole resting 
on the Bearpaw Mountains." 

Possibly a group followed No Vitals' secessionists to become the 
second Crow band; otherwise the division between River Crow, or 
Black Lodges, and the more numerous Mountain Crow, or Many 
Lodges, occurred after the tribe was in its new territory. The former 
usually hunted north of the Missouri; the latter, together with their 
offshoot, the Kicked In The Bellies, roamed between the Bighorn 
Mountains and the Wind River in present-day Wyoming. 

Around this country of high mountains, rolling plateaus, fertile 
valleys, and deep canyons, ranged numerous other tribes with whom 
the Crows had relationships of varying amity and hostility. The Crow 
legend of the Crow/Hidatsa severance ends with the resumption of 
peaceful relations. To the northeast these Earth Lodges, in the trans- 
lation of the Crow name (Hidatsa, also called Gros Ventres), lived 
with the Lodges At The Extreme End (Mandans). From the north- 
west the Crows were beset by the three Blackfeet bands. Also to the 
north dwelt The Hairy Noses (Atsina, known as Prairie Gros 
Ventres) and the Yellow Legs (Assiniboines). Westward the Crows 
alternately traded with and stole from the Poor Lodges (Flatheads), 
the Grass Lodges (Shoshonis), and the Pierced Noses (Nez Perces). 
Southward they encountered the Black Lodges (Utes), the Striped 
Feather Arrows (Cheyennes), and the Many Tattoos (Arapahoes). 
But from the east came their greatest enemies, They That Cut Off 
Our Heads, the fearsome Teton Sioux. 

The sons of the French fur trader Pierre G. V. La Verendrye ap- 
pear to have been the first white men to see the newcomers. On Sep- 
tember 18, 1742, Mandan guides led them to a people they named 
"Beaux Hommes," believed to be the Crows. 

A description of the Yellowstone River, written by the fur trader 
Jean Baptiste Trudeau in 1796, told of a Canadian trader, one Menard, 
who had visited "the nation of the Crow, a numerous people," also in 


Mandan company. A decade later the first account of Crow life was 
written by the Northwest Company fur trader Francois Larocque. 
Having traveled with the tribe for two and a half months during the 
summer of 1805, he recorded such features of their culture as no- 
madic patterns and their attachment to medicine bundles. From then 
on the Crow country saw commercial activity. At the junction of 
the Yellowstone and Bighorn rivers the enterprising Manuel Lisa 
built the first Crow trading post in 1807. After passing into the hands 
of the Missouri Fur Company in 1809, it was abandoned in the sum- 
mer of 1 8 u. A second Missouri Fur Company post was built on this 
same site in 1822 but folded a year later. -*-~ 

Once he had purchased the Columbia Fur Company in 1827, Pierre 
Chouteau greatly expanded the operations of his American Fur Com- 
pany. In 1832 his field agent, Alexander McKenzie, built their first 
Crow post, Fort Cass, three miles below the mouth of the Bighorn 
River. From there the Crows were paid to annoy the competition, 
the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, which had enjoyed good rela- 
tions with the Crows. In 1835, the same year that Fort Cass was aban- 
doned, the American Fur Company built its second post, Fort Van 
Buren, near the mouth of the Tongue River. Eight years later it was 
abandoned. A third post was erected by this company in 1839, op- 
posite the mouth of the Rosebud River. Before it too was abandoned, 
the Missouri Fur Company built its final Crow post, Fort Sarpy, 
which stood five miles below the mouth of the Bighorn River until 
1860. But Blackfeet and Sioux harassment kept the Crows dissatisfied 
with these trading centers. Desirous of the fine Crow robes, the com- 
panies found the most fruitful trading method was to send represen- 
tatives with small amounts of goods to travel with the tribal bands. 

In 1864, when the Bozeman trail was blazed to the gold country of 
western Montana, three military forts were spaced across the Crow 
country, one the Fort C. F. Smith mentioned by Two Leggings. 

After Larocque's entries, Crow life continued to be written about 
by fur traders and other travelers. Prince Maximilian of Wied-Neu- 
wied's record of his 1832-34 western journey included descriptions 
of the Crow villages, their chiefs Long Hair and Rotten Belly, and 
the Crow warrior societies. A mulatto named James Beclcwourth, 
who had lived with the Crows between 1820 and 1830, had his mem- 
oirs published in 1856. While flagrantly exaggerating his own exploits, 
Beckwourth presented an authentic picture of the military aspect of 
Crow life. During the winter of 1855-56 Edwin Thompson Denig 
wrote "Of the Crow Nation," based on two decades of familiarity 

with the tribe during their visits to Fort Union. As a section of Hs 
Five Indian Tribes of the Upper Missouri, this work devoted itself 
to those historical and cultural features which were uniquely Crow. 
And another fur trader, Robert Meldrum, provided valuable data 
on the tribe in 1862 for the journal of "the father of American eth- 
nology," Lewis Henry Morgan. 

During the first half of the nineteenth century the Crows were not 
entirely ignored by the Federal Government. In midsummer 1825, 
a year after the establishment of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, a peace 
commission headed up the Missouri toward the trade center of the 
Mandan villages. The resident Mandans and Hidatsa played host to 
two Crow delegations, a Mountain Crow band led by Long Hair and 
the River Crows under Rotten Belly. But Brigadier-General Atkin- 
son's uneasy escort troops marred the occasion by training cannon' 
on the visitors' encampment. When the Crows spiked the guns a brawl 
ensued. Rotten Belly was not as easily placated as his fellow chief. 
Even after singing a medicine song which brought a downpour upon 
the Mandans' earthen roofs and rotted their crops, he refused to sign 
the first Crow friendship treaty of August 4, 1825. 

In this document the Crows recognized fealty to the United States 
Government, agreed to remain within its territorial confines, and sub- 
mitted to its regulation of all their trade a counter to the strong 
British commercial inroads. Finally they would undertake no "private 
revenge" but would refer all injustices to the proper authorities. In 
return for this surrender of an entire way of life, they were to receive 
occasional "acts of kindness." Although these clauses were totally 
unrealistic at the time, they would spell the end to Crow freedom half 
a century later. 

When Secretary of War Lewis Cass attempted in 1834 to de- 
fine his Indian agencies and substations with greater geographical 
accuracy, he found little information on the diversity, territoriality, 
and culture of the northwestern plains tribes. He established a sprawl- 
ing "Agency of the Upper Missouri, to include all the Indians and 
Indian country west of the State of Missouri, north of the Western 

Until 1851 the Upper Missouri agents limited their annual reports 
to redundant, ill-informed, and mildly critical comments on the no- 
madic habits of their charges, their proclivity for alcohol (with the 
notable exception of the Crows), and their ceaseless intertribal war- 
fare. That spring Congress appropriated one hundred thousand dol- 


lars for the holding of a great council of "the wild tribes of the 
prairie." Assisted by Agent Tom Fitzpatrick and the celebrated mis- 
sionary-explorer Father Pierre de Smet, Superintendent D. D. Mitch- 
ell managed to gather, on September i, eight to twelve thousand 
souls. The Cheyennes, Arapahoes, Snakes, and several Sioux branches 
arrived en masse, while the Crows, Arikaras, Gros Ventres, and As- 
siniboines were represented by delegations the Cornanches declined 
for fear of losing horses to the Crow and Sioux. During the eighteen- 
day encampment, .Mitchell wrote: "The different tribes, though 
hereditary enemies, interchanged daily visits, both in their sectional 
and individual capacities; smoked and feasted together, exchanged 
presents; adopted each others' children." 

The document signed there established federal right to build roads 
and military posts in Indian country, fixed tribal boundaries, and pro- 
vided for the annual payment of fifty thousand dollars in goods for 
a fifty-year period. When the Senate chopped this to ten years, only 
the Crows refused to sign; thus, the treaty was never ratified. 

In 1867 M. Siinonin, a French mining expert, copied the translator's 
version of Sits In The Middle Of The Land's reply to the Fort Lar- 
amie Peace Commission in which he referred to the 1851 document: 
"Several years ago the whites came to buy from the Crows the route 
to California, which passed by Ft. Laramie. For this route they were 
to pay fifty years of indemnities . . . you have not observed the one 
[treaty] you signed at Horse Creek." Although the gathering yielded 
no new Crow signatures, Simonin concluded in his journal: "They 
agreed upon a conference in seven moons, when the grass was green,' 
that is, in the calendar of civilized peoples, toward the fifth of June, 

A treaty drawn up on May 7, 1868, at Fort Laramie was quickly 
ratified by Congress. It was signed by only the Mountain Crow chiefs, 
and the Crows therein relinquished all their lands and accepted a per- 
manent reservation extending westward from the one hundred and 
seventh meridian to about Yellowstone Park, the Yellowstone River 
being the northern and western limits and the Wyoming line the 
southern. Besides designating the construction of an agency complex, 
the treaty's twelve articles dealt with encouraging the Crow to farm 
and with compulsory schooling for Crow children, and stipulated the 
distribution of annuity goods. 

It took another twenty years for the buffalo to disappear, for inter- 
tribal warfare to end, and for the Crows to resign themselves to the 
sedentary life. Their agency was moved twice, in 1875 to Absaroke 

and In 1884 to its present location a mile from Custer Battlefield on 
the Little Bighorn River. Continually the Crows were pressed by 
Sioux hostiles and Blackfeet raiders, and it is the feeling of some that 
without federal protection they would have been annihilated. Two 
Leggings' memories terminate in 1888. After that, "There is nothing 
more to tell." The Crow way of life, which had probably lasted for 
little more than two hundred years, was over. 

In order to place Wildschut's manuscript in the proper historical 
and cultural context, I have dipped freely into more volumes than are 
listed in the bibliography. Included there are only those works which 
focus on the Crow tribe. Without Robert Lowie's extensive work 
it would be impossible to interpret much of what Two Leggings re- 
calls. The photographs and text in the "Absaroke" half of Volume 
IV of Edward S. Curtis' The North American Indian were likewise 
invaluable. In person, through his annotated editions of Wildschut 
and Denig, and in his own writings, John C. Ewers has given this 
layman much-needed guidance. The books of Frank Bird Linderman, 
excellent popular accounts of Crow life and legend, also yielded im- 
portant comparative material 

Dr. Frederick J. Dockstader, Director of the Museum of the Amer- 
ican Indian, Heye Foundation, unhesitatingly extended the initial 
trust, sustained patience, and constant encouragement which brought 
the project to life. To him and his staff, in particular his chief pho- 
tographer, Carmelo Guadagno, I am profoundly grateful. 

On the Crow reservation I am indebted to Joseph Medicine Crow, 
Chester Medicine Crow, Carl Crooked Arm, Jasper Long, Edison 
Real Bird, Eloise Pease, Ray Bear Don't Walk, Otto K Weaver, 
Andrew Loveless, and Robert Zang. They either kindly delivered in- 
formation, patiently translated it, or graciously provided the facilities 
for obtaining it. Amos Two Leggings was killed in an automobile ac- 
cident four months after our meeting. I had hoped this book would 
have thanked him for his help. 

Mr. and Mrs. Laidlaw Williams housed me for two summers, dur- 
ing which the bulk of the work was done. For research assistance I 
am grateful to Nancy Strowbridge, Mrs. Margaret C. Blaker, and 
Sarah Macmillan. Through the four drafts, Ian Lowson, Peter Perrin, 
Richard Freis, Hugh Rawson, and William A. Darkey were judicious 
readers and editors. I also wish to thank Mrs. L. A. Taylor and Mrs. 
Ellen D. Wildschut for remembering those early years when Crows 
camped on their living-room floor. 



Foreword vii 

Introduction xl 

Two Beggings: The ^Making 

of a Crow ^Warrior i 

Selected bibliography 198 


^Appendix 213 

Index 218 


Crow hunting and roaming territory during Two Leggings' early 

years, xxvi 

Yellowstone and Bighorn River basins, the Crow heartland, xxvii 


(following page $$) 
Two Leggings in 1919, wearing pipeholder's war shirt 

Sees The Living Bull, Crow medicine man 
Crow tipis along the Yellowstone River 

Crow representatives at first agency near Livingston, Montana 
Two Belly during 1879 v " ls *t to Washington 

Crooked Arm 

Crow treaty delegation, 1872 

Bull Does Not Fall Down 

Medicine Crow 

Spotted Horse 

Two Leggings' first war medicine bundle 

Crow Tobacco Society procession 

Frame of Tobacco Society adoption lodge 

Doll that White On The Neck tore down during Sun Dance 


Doll used by Two Leggings during first Sun Dance 

Rattle, scalp ornament, and whistle from Show His Face's Sun Dance 


Skunk-skin, apron, and raw-hide container from Show His Face's 
Sun Dance bundle 

Big Shoulder 

Hunts The Enemy 

Medicine sweat lodge of 104 willows 

Common sweat-lodge frame 

Braided Tail medicine bundle 

Sees The Living Bull's medicine of coyote-head moccasin 

Hairy Wolf 
Long Otter 

Other Bull, Old Horn, Old Coyote, Old Jackrabbit and Two Leggings 

Two Leggings shortly before his death 


Two Leggings: 


Chapter One 

In 1844, within a tipi pitched along the banks of the 

Bighorn River, a woman named Strikes At Different Camps 

got down on her knees, gripped two stakes, and spread her 

thighs to give birth. 

One of her attendants was known to have received a dream 

telling how to mix rubbing herbs and concoct root beverages 

which relieved pain and hastened delivery. This woman measured 

off three fingers on the wet umbilical cord and sliced it. With 

the brown baby at her breast, the mother was handed dried 

buffalo meat dipped in fat At that moment Four, the father, like 

all men forbidden to approach the tipi, was selecting the 

midwife's payment from his horse herd. 

Two days later the mother heated a steel awl and pierced 
the baby's earlobes, leaving a greased stick in the openings. 

Four days after birth, during a momentary halt on 

their journey to Fort Union, Four invited a revered fellow 

member of the Whistling Waters clan to become the name 

father. After covering the baby's face with sacred red 

paint, this man lifted him four times while Four held smoking 

bear root to his wincing eyes. Then, referring to some sacred 

person in a long-ago dream, this man named the baby Big Crane. 

MY MOTHER TOLD ME that when I was a few days old x our camp 
moved to where the Elk River flows into the Big River. My father 
traded for gunpowder from the trader there and when he came home 
spread it close to the fire to explain its use to my mother. It exploded, 
giving him such bad burns on his head and chest that he soon died. 


After my mother died my older brother, Wolf Chaser, cared for 
me. In those days I was called Big Crane. I was poor, my clothes were 
always ragged, and I seldom wore moccasins. 

My earliest memory is of our tipis pitched along both banks of the 
Elk River below the present town of Miles City. One day my brother 
asked me to join him on a visit across the river. After staying a few 
days we left to visit the trader at the mouth of Elk River. 

My brother had given me a bow and some small arrows and on this 
trip taught me to shoot grouse, rabbits, and prairie dogs. With his 
full-sized bow he killed a buffalo and showed me how to boil meat 
without a kettle. Digging a hole he placed a piece of green hide over 
it and staked it down, allowing enough slack so that the hide would 
touch the bottom and sides when filled. After pouring water into the 
hide sack he built a fire in which he heated large stones until they 
were red hot. Carrying them with a forked stick, he dropped them 
in. He kept replacing the cooled stones with new hot ones. 

When we arrived at the trader's I remember the store seemed 
strange to me. I could not understand how anyone could live in such 
a stuffy place with such a low roof. 

In those days our tribe had three divisions: Sore Tail led the Black 
Lodges, Red Bear the Many Lodges, and Grey Dog the Kicked In 
The Bellies. Long Horse was head chief of all the Crows. At this store 
we met some men of the Black Lodges and my brother decided to 
visit their camp. 

It must have been close to snow-melting time because I remember 
Wolf Chaser warning me to keep off the ice in the rivers. We had 
brought no provisions; game seemed everywhere and the Black Lodges 
were only a few days away. But we were unlucky and did not kill a 
deer until two days later when the sun was a tipi height in the west. 
Immediately we struck sparks on some punk with flint and steel, 
added small pieces of dry wood, and soon had a cooking fire. 

The next morning two more Crows joined us and we reached the 
Black Lodge village two days later. 

One day there the men went hunting buffalo and I followed, carry- 
ing my bow and arrows and a knife my brother had made from a piece 
of iron with a wooden handle bound with buffalo sinew. 

I tried to keep the hunters in sight, but all the running and climbing 
tired me. Finally they disappeared over a distant ridge. 

As I sat down to rest I noticed a horse grazing a short distance away. 
I had no rope, so I drove it toward camp. It was tame and after walk- 

Ing it into the horse herd I watched it for a long time. If it turned 
out to be a stray I could keep it. Until now I had never owned any- 
thing. When I told my brother, he could not find any owner's marks 
but walked it from tipi to tipi, announcing the way it had been found 
and asking everyone to look. I followed, afraid that at any moment 
my new property would be claimed. But when no one had spoken 
Wolf Chaser told me to care for it and made me a buffalo hide lariat 
to picket it. 

A few days later Wolf Chaser decided to return to our home camp 
on Elk River. My horse was in poor condition and I led it the entire 

I took care of that horse, and my brother trained it to become a 
good buffalo chaser. As I grew older he showed me how to shoot 
buffalo on the run, singling out fat calves for me to kill. 

When I was about thirteen years old, our carnp was on the move 
to Bear Creek. When we came to a high bluff with sides and coulees 
thick with berry bushes it was decided to stop, because the women 
wanted fruit for the winter supply. 

As camp was being set up, a man named White ran down the bluff, 
calling to the women about to pick to stay there. Scouting along the 
ridge he had seen a bear sitting on its haunches and staring at our 
traveling camp. Then the bear had sung a medicine song four times, 
raising one front paw toward the camp each time and patting the 
ground with the other. After scraping up some mud and rubbing it on 
its head, it made one streak under each eye. Finally the bear began 
dancing and moving its paw toward the camp as if to embrace some- 
one. White had run to warn us that this bear would kill anyone who 
came near. 

Although Black Head, one of our Wise Ones, and some other older 
people tried to hold us back, we slipped away. Halfway up the bluff 
we saw the bear on top, rising on its haunches as we approached. 
When we all shot arrows it ran into the bushes. We thought we had 
wounded it and despite the older people's shouts from down below, 
we ran into the bushes where it had disappeared. Just as Pretty Hawk 
and another boy reached a fallen tree the bear charged out. They 
threw off their blankets and started running but Pretty Hawk caught 
his foot in the dead branches. The bear hugged him around the shoul- 
ders, shook him, and then dragged him off by one arm. 

White yelled for us to save our friend; Pretty Hawk was scream- 

ing. Black Head carried his gun into the bushes and another man 
followed behind. The bear was growling, but now Pretty Hawk was 

Someone called for me to stay but I crept behind the two men, 
listening to them encouraging each other. Then I saw Pretty Hawk 
lying in a clearing with the bear mauling him. When Black Head 
shot the bear in the back it walked slowly away. 

One of Pretty Hawk's eyes was hanging out, his lower jaw was 
crushed, and on one side his ribs showed through. He moved his hand 
to touch his face but his shoulder was broken and he clawed the air. 
It was a long time before he died. 

The bushes were fired but the bear was gone. We broke camp im- 
mediately, traveling along the Big Horn River until we camped near 
another canyon where more berries grew. 

I spent a good day picking with some other young people, each of 
us boys helping a girl. Toward evening we swam our horses across 
the Big Horn River. During our meal on the other side we heard 
noises and grew afraid enemies might be around, so we rode closer 
to the mountains, making camp after dark by a little creek. I chose 
a sleeping place by some thick chokecherry bushes so I would be able 
to fill my bags quickly the next morning. Medicine Thunder was with 
me, and we spread our saddle blankets under a large box-elder tree 
and covered ourselves with robes. 

A little before daybreak I felt a weight on my feet and woke up. 
My robe was over my head and my arm around Medicine Thunder. 
When something pulled at my robe I held it tightly around my neck. 
As the tugging continued I let the robe slide off and raised my head. 
A black bear was sitting partly on my legs, facing in the direction of 
the other boys and girls just waking up. I dropped my head and tried 
to squeeze under Medicine Thunder's arm. When he told me to let 
him sleep I put my fingers to my lips and motioned for him to look. 
Then he pulled his robe over his face and tried to hide under me. The 
bear just moved a little more onto my legs, its attention still on the 
other voices. 

When our friends called us, the bear grew restless and moved off 
my legs, but still did not notice us. It was almost sunup when it finally 
began walking away. Medicine Thunder suddenly rolled over and 
we ran, yelling to our friends to get their guns. As we looked back 
the bear was standing near some underbrush. We caught our horses, 
raced back to the main camp, and returned with some men. Eats The 

Ear rode too close and the bear bit a piece out of his horse's hind- 
quarters. As it turned to escape into some bushes Medicine Arrow 
shot an arrow into one of its forelegs. It raised itself on its hind legs 
and pawed the air, crying like a human being. Then we all shot and 
soon it was dead. 

There is not much to any boy's life. Even the gathering of wisdom 
is play. Many of our games had a purpose in those days. 

We especially liked the arrow-throwing game which taught us 
accuracy and developed our arms and shoulders. An older man would 
call six or eight of us together at the edge of camp, each with a throw- 
ing arrow about his own height. The man threw his arrow, which 
was our target. Then we threw ours, one after another, and the 
closest won. People from camp would watch, offering prizes for 
the winner. Sometimes I was lucky and won a blanket, which I needed 
because I was poor. The people also placed bets on us and when some 
well-known warrior picked me I would try hard to win for him. 

We also played the hoop-and-arrow game. A small rawhide hoop 
was rolled along the ground and we tried to shoot through it from 
far away. The winner was usually given a prize, and the people bet- 
ting would give something to the boy who won for them. 

We boys played war along the river bottoms, separating into two 
parties and striking each other with willow sticks. I could run through 
brush without making any noise, ambush someone, and suddenly ap- 
pear in front of another boy to strike again. Sometimes the older 
warriors offered prizes for him who struck first or struck most. 

In the winter we slid down high slopes on sleds made of buffalo 
ribs fastened together with rawhide, while one of our girl friends 
held on behind. In summer we used those same sleds on steep grassy 
hills. Sometimes we spun tops on the ice. We were also allowed 
to join in many of the dances, usually held when we had visitors 
from other clans 2 or when successful war parties returned. I en- 
joyed this and was considered a good dancer. 

Chapter Two 

The legends which helped to form Big Crane's 

ambitions -followed certain patterns. For Two Leggings, as 

Big Crane was later renamed, the Bear White Child tale 

must have held particular significance. He saw his own life's trials 

and triumphs -fitting the general outline of the impoverished 

orphan who, after earning supernatural support, wins status 

and wealth. 

A second motif common to Crow oral tradition, 
that of the camp bully who lords his power over his fellows, 

was also woven into this tale. 

But the line between myth and reality is hard to 

draw in Crow literature. Often a real personage or an historical 

incident slips into the realm of legend. Two Leggings asserted that 

this was a true story, and there are accounts from the early 

nineteenth century of antagonism between the Whistling Waters 

clan and the Treacherous clan. The very name of the latter 

clan is traced to a certain leader named One Eye, who so mistreated 

his own people that his clan was renamed the Piegan, or 

Treacherous, clan because its members behaved like enemies, or 

Piegans, to their tribesmen. 

As A BOY I spent my evenings listening to the stories of our warriors 
and medicine men. I wanted to be just as brave and honored, and the 
following day would train myself that much harder, running and 
riding and playing war games with my friends. 

When we were young we did not speak, we listened to our Wise 
Ones. Sometimes we were told what to do and sometimes we learned 

through stories of true things that happened long ago. I will tell you 
the story of Bear White Child * because it contains the most sacred 
instructions which can be given to a young man who hopes to be- 
come a chief. After it was told to me in those early days I swore I 
would never be revengeful against my own people. 

Early one night in leaf-falling season a full moon shone over a Crow 
village pitched along the ridge of a big coulee. Old Man Wolf, a 
Whistling Waters clan chief, walked through the camp calling certain 
men to his tipi for a smoke. When all were gathered, Old Man Wolf 
said that he wanted to smoke under grandmother moon. Buffalo robes 
were spread outside and the men sat in a half circle. After the pipe 
was passed, Old Man Wolf said that since game was scarce they would 
move next day to where buffalo had been sighted nearby. 

It was still dark face the period just before dawn begins to color 
the eastern horizon when the crier woke the camp, telling the 
women to prepare their men a good breakfast. 

A Treacherous clan chief, One Eye, also lived in this village. It was 
believed he could not be killed because he had been adopted by Bear 
Up Above, one of the most powerful supernatural persons. His clan 
members would abuse members of the Whistling Waters, knowing 
they were too afraid of One Eye to fight back, and One Eye himself 
often started feuds between the two clans. 

A poor boy lived in this village, whose mother was his only living 
relative. But they belonged to the Whistling Waters clan; its mem- 
bers provided them with food and clothing. 

Old Man Wolf had forgotten to invite One Eye to his meeting and 
the clan leader brooded over this insult. He knew the boy was well 
liked by all the Whistling Waters, and planned his revenge. 

The hunters left at dawn, followed b"y the skinners and women. As 
the sun rose it became hotter. Everyone grew thirsty and around the 
middle of the day they stopped at a small spring where the water 
flowed cool and clear. After a short rest everyone went for one last 

The boy followed the older people, lying flat on his chest and put- 
ting his mouth into the water. Then One Eye, standing to one side, 
pressed his foot onto the boy's neck. All the people saw it but were 
afraid to do anything. One Eye talked loudly, pretending to give orders 
for the hunt. When bubbles came to the surface One Eye took his 
foot away and joined his men. 

Although the Whistling Waters members were angry, they were 
afraid of One Eye's power and of causing trouble in the tribe. Pull- 
ing the body from the spring, they laid it under a pine tree, covering 
it with a buffalo robe. 

Late in the day they returned to bury him and were surprised to 
find the body gone. At first they thought some bear or mountain lion 
had dragged it off, but no tracks could be found. The next morning 
they carefully searched the surrounding hills, but discovered no signs. 

Soon after being placed under the tree the boy had woken as if from 
a sleep. Instead of returning to his people he walked toward the moun- 
tains where he fasted and prayed. One night, at a place known as 
Bear Camp, he was told in a dream that Bear Up Above would adopt 
him in the new grass moon. All that winter the boy remained in the 
mountains, protected by the Without Fires. In the meantime he was 
almost forgotten in his village, although some felt that One Eye should 
be punished. 

One day, as the boy was resting on a rock, a bird appeared and told 
him to be ready because Bear Up Above was going to adopt him. 
The bird said he should not be afraid, Bear Up Above would not hurt 

As the boy remained on the rock, watching the setting sun, he no- 
ticed a black cloud, as if a storm were about to break. The cloud grew 
larger and more threatening. He felt strong gusts of wind and saw 
streaks of lightning. It began to rain very hard and he was afraid the 
large hail stones would kill him. As he ran for a place to hide, a voice 
told him not to fear, that he was about to be adopted. 

The hail fell all around, but the boy was not touched. Again he 
looked in the direction the storm had come; a black cloud hung in 
the middle of the hail. The cloud's center began taking shape and he 
saw the head of Bear Up Above. At the moment the upper half of the 
bear's body appeared the hail stopped. The bear sang a song as it 
reached down to embrace the boy. It lifted him into the air and when 
it finished singing, put him down. 

After doing this four times, a fine-looking young man suddenly 
stood before the boy; he knew it was this same bear. The man said 
that he had adopted One Eye, but having seen One Eye's acts he had 
decided to take away his power. He had brought the boy back to 
life and had tested him. He said he knew how the boy had kept him- 
self from the comforts of camp during the worst part of the year. 
He would reward him with the power he had once granted to One 
Eye. He gave the boy the name of Bear White Child. 

The young man told Bear White Child that upon his return to the 
village he was to build four sweat lodges and invite everyone to enter 
them. He told the boy to offer a smoke to him there and said he would 
like this very much. Then the boy was to make One Eye miserable 
until the day came to kill him. For this he gave the boy bear sinew, 
a piece of which he was to throw into a fire. As it shriveled up One 
Eye's body would also shrink until he died. The boy could kill all his 
enemies this way. 

After telling Bear White Child where the camp had moved, the 
young man disappeared, leaving behind him a clear blue sky. 

During the winter Bear White Child had grown into a young man. 
As he took the return trail he felt strong and happy. He made himself 
a bow and arrows and on his way killed a deer, but ate very little. 
Reaching the outskirts of the village he sat down to rest. Then he 
rose, walked into the dpi of an old Whistling Waters clan member, 
and asked him to announce his return throughout the camp and to 
request his clan members to help him build four sweat lodges. The 
others in the dpi were surprised to see the boy grown up. After they 
had smoked, the old man announced the boy's return and repeated 
his request. The people thought he was crazy, but soon Bear White 
Child appeared, bringing in willow branches for the sweat lodges. 
One Eye was among the onlookers and was heard to say that the boy 
must have had some great dream and that he was glad to see him 
back. Actually, he was sure he had killed the boy and was afraid. 
Although One Eye flattered him in every way, Bear White Child 
ignored him. 

After the sweat-lodge ceremony Bear White Child left the fourth 
lodge, lit his pipe, and offered the smoke to Bear Up Above. When a 
streak of lightning shot from the bowl to the sky, the people knew he 
must have some great power and were afraid of him. Then Bear White 
Child went to his mother's tipi where she was crying with joy at his 

Nothing more happened until one night, in a dream, Bear White 
Child was told to fast on Long Mountain. 

Early the next morning he told his mother he was leaving and to 
prepare him a good meal. Understanding that her son had some strong 
medicine power, she asked no questions. He had told a friend that he 
was fasting to the spirits, whose chief tipi was on Long Mountain, 
and his friend had asked to come. They climbed to the top and fixed 
their sleeping places. That night Bear Up Above appeared in the form 
of the fine-looking young man. He told Bear White Child that he 


had made him dream, and was appearing on the first night because he 
did not want to see Bear White Child suffer. Now was the time for 
Bear White Child to steal One Eye's youngest wife. Bear Up Above 
told him not to be afraid, for no one could harm him until he wanted 
to take Bear White Child back forever. 

Bear White Child woke at daybreak and called to his friend that 
he was returning. When he told about his dream his friend was glad 
because he hated One Eye. 

After their return the crier announced that on the following day 
camp would move. That night Bear White Child stole One Eye's 
youngest wife, the prettiest girl in the tribe. Many young men wanted 
to marry her but had been afraid of One Eye's power. The news 
spread the next morning as the crier announced that camp would re- 
main there because Bear White Child was to be married. The crier 
also told the women to make the new wife a deerskin dress covered 
with elk teeth. When someone asked One Eye what he was going to 
do he said that both were young, that Bear White Child was a nice 
man and his wife good looking. He said he coulci not blame him for 
stealing her and he thought they would be happy. 

But One Eye sent her a message, warning that if she did not come 
to him something bad would happen. Bear White Child told her that 
there was no need to be afraid; One Eye could do nothing. When 
she walked into One Eye's tipi he was feeling good and said that he 
hoped she would be happy. As a wedding gift he gave her the pony 
that was her favorite and said he liked her husband. The people were 
surprised; they were sure One Eye would try to take some revenge. 

As the season passed Bear White Child stole One Eye's three re- 
maining wives, and still One Eye did nothing. When autumn came 
the Whistling Waters members urged Bear White Child to take his 
final revenge. Soon afterwards he asked his friends to build him a fire. 
When it was blazing he threw in his piece of bear sinew, saying that 
it was One Eye's body. As the sinew twisted in the heat One Eye, 
who was standing a few tipis away, suddenly fell groaning on his back. 
Everyone saw his body shrivel away and he died. 

Then Bear White Child told the whole camp about his dream and 
said that he had thrown in all the sinew because he never wanted to 
use that revenge again. 


Chapter Three 

The Crow boy quickly learned that the arenas 

-for achieving success were the fasting place, the raid, 

and the council of chiefs. Everything he saw and heard made 

him yearn to begin the series of offices: a war party 7 s 

helper, scout or "wolf" as the Crows called them, leader of scouts, 

pipeholder, chief, and head chief. But rarely was the 

progression so regimented; an outstanding exploit or a notably 

powerful vision could land a man almost anywhere on the 


To become a pipeholder, or The One Who 

Owns The War Party, it was necessary either to experience 

a vision which the accredited pipeholders would accept 

or to purchase an acknowledged pipeholders war medicine bundle. 

However, only a warrior who had completed four prescribed 

battle feats was eligible for this office. During ceremonies on his 

raiding trip the pipeholder opened the pipe which was his 

badge, and from his personal war bundle he learned where to 

lead his men and how to act. When someone disobeyed 

this medicine's commands, or when the pipeholder received an 

ominous dream, the raid was cut short. 

I WAS GROWING restless shooting rabbits and longed to join the war 
parties I watched going out. In the evenings I wandered through the 
village until I found a tipi where some old man was telling stories of 
famous raids. If I was not invited in I would sit outside, my ear pressed 
to the skin wall. Later that night, in ray brother's tipi, I would imag- 
ine those same things happening to me. When I asked my brother 


to let me join a raiding party he only laughed, but watched closely 
to make suf e I did not run off . 

I was about fourteen years old when we were camped on Bear 
Creek, a tributary of t{ie Musselshell River, near where it empties 
into Big River. One day I heard that Shows His Wing, Two Belly, 
and Bank were leading a war party to recover some horses stolen by 
the Piegans. 1 My brother would not give me his permission to go, 
which I knew Shows His Wing would require. Three elder brothers 
were also helping him watch that I did not run away. 

I strolled to the edge of the tipis, carrying my bow and arrows. 
When my brother turned around, I ran behind a tipi and into the 
bushes. Arriving at the top of a nearby ridge, I hid behind some rocks 
while the war party walked by. 

I was afraid to join right away but showed myself when they 
stopped for their noon meal. Shows His Wing asked what I was do- 
ing and I answered that I wanted to be their helper. He said I was 
too young and chose four men to take me home. Although I begged, 
my words were like the wind to him. 

When we could see our village they told me to go on alone. I sat 
on the ground, watching them disappear over the ridge. Then I looked 
at our tipis. If I returned I would never have a chance to improve 
my life. I would rather be killed on a raid than do nothing in camp. 
I ran until I saw the four men again and started walking slowly be- 
hind. When they reached their camp at nightfall, I hid as close as I 

It was late in leaf-falling moon and snow covered the ground. As 
I watched their fires my feet grew numb, but I was only worried 
whether Shows His Wing would let me stay. The men had built four 
shelters of tree branches covered with brush and blankets and I could 
hear them talking inside. When someone walked out of the firelight 
I did not think he would see me, but the clouds parted and the full 
moon lit the country like day. I had to answer when he called, and 
he led me to Shows His Wing. The men were resting after their meal 
and told me to cut a piece of fresh elk and broil it. As Shows His 
Wing watched me eat he kept saying that they were walking far and 
I was so small. 

I did not feel that small but he told his men they should have taken 
me into the village. When I finished eating Bob Tail Wolf and Wolf 
Cap accompanied me back a second time. But at dawn, when we 
reached the location of their last noon camp, they said I knew the 

Again I waited until they had disappeared and again I walked in 
their tracks. Soon I found the remains of their fire and built it up to 
warm my feet. It dried my moccasins but made me fall asleep. When 
I woke it was sundown. After warming up again I followed their 
tracks in the moonlight, walking across ice, through groves of cotton- 
woods, and along the river banks. 

When we .are young we are all cowards. I was alone for the first 
time that night and the owls scared me. Stopping for a moment, I 
would hear strange noises and start to run. 

Soon I smelled cooked meat and knew I was close. I was afraid to 
get too near, but once again someone noticed me and took me to the 

Shows His Wing said that I was like a coyote trailing behind their 
party. Boys are always looking for excitement, he said, and his men 
should have taken me directly to my brother's tipi. But since I had 
shown my eagerness to go, he allowed me to stay. I was happy and 
could not speak. 

A fat buffalo had been killed and Shows His Wing told me to eat. 
When he learned I had only a spare pair of my brother's moccasins, 
he told me to throw away those and my own torn pair. Then he asked 
some men for extra moccasins but none fit so he cut down my broth- 
er's pair and sewed them up again. We had no coats in those days and 
I wore only a thin shirt, a pair of ragged leggings, and an old buffalo 
robe with most of the fur gone. I was an orphan and although I had 
three older brothers I was very poor. 

Shows His Wing had a white part of a Hudson's Bay blanket and 
sent me to Two Belly's shelter for another piece. There I was told 
that I would be given the cloth for tobacco. 2 Although Shows His 
Wing had little he sent me back with some and I returned with a 
narrow strip from a black-and-white blanket. When I wore the 
jacket the men made I looked like an eagle with white breast and 
black wings. Breath brought more cloth and after arguing what to 
make they sewed it into a cap, tying it to the jacket, and then made 
mittens and attached them to my sleeves. In the morning Shows His 
Wing led us where he thought the Piegans had gone and we soon 
found their tracks. 

The men were watching to see if I got tired. But I had trained my- 
self and even kept up when we ran one entire night because our scouts 
had discovered we were catching up. The following sunset we sighted 
their group of brush shelters. 

Our party consisted of only six experienced warriors, two younger 

men, and myself. We three were told to stay behind and when it grew 
dark the others crawled out. After they had left I tried to persuade 
the young men to join me, but they said they were too young for 
real fighting. 

I was excited and also began crawling out. When our men stopped 
to spread out I lay behind them. It was nearly daybreak when they 
noticed me, whispering that I must get back. But I was a man now 
and wanted to see what kind of people these Piegans were. 

White Buffalo thought it was too dangerous and someone else 
warned that if the Piegans chased us I must not cry out. 

Then Does Not Turn Back said that I might be braver than any 
of them and remembered how well I had run. He told me to stay by 

By the time the sun touched the treetops we had surrounded their 
camp. I was told again to go back but I stayed, holding tightly to my 
bow and arrows. 

However, the Piegans had discovered us and had slipped away. We 
quickly picked up the trail and soon saw seven men riding our horses 
toward the mountains. Then they dropped out of sight. 

Shows His Wing led us on a shortcut across the hills, arriving at 
the mountain pass at sunset. They had not yet crossed and we hid 
among the trees. Since he was not expecting the Piegans for a while, 
Shows His Wing told us to rest. But I could not sleep. While I 
watched the pass, a dog we had brought to carry our few belongings 
lay next to me. 

When it lifted its nose and began growling, I looked closer. Men 
walked out of the darkness and I put an arrow on my bow. I heard 
the heavy breathing of my friends sleeping behind me, but never 
thought to wake them up. 

The dog barked, someone shouted, and the Piegans ran down the 
hillside. Our men were awake and running in the opposite direction, 
but three stood with me, waiting to see if more Piegans showed. We 
saw none, and it was too dark to follow into the thick timber. Breath 
was with me and he yelled for the others to pick up their blankets. 

When they crowded around I spoke with a serious face, telling 
them that one man had walked right up to me and that when he felt 
my arrow he had screamed. Then I had looked around and only three 
were with me. Someone said that they had been trying to send me 
home and now I had proved myself the bravest. Two Belly said they 
had not acted properly and should return home. 

We returned a few days later and my brother scolded me as soon 
as I walked Into his dpi. But he must have heard how I had behaved 
because after that he did not treat me like the small boy he had always 

Although on that first war party we did not fight or steal horses, 
it was the beginning of a new life. 3 

The following summer our camp was farther upstream on Bear 
Creek. One day I was leaving to hunt birds and had just reached the 
edge of the tipis when I heard a man shouting. He was too far away 
to be understood but I could see him wildly waving his arms. Some 
men galloped past me, heading for him. My brother's horse was tied 
close by and I jumped on without saddle or blanket. I recognized 
those riding beside me: Black Earth, Plain Weasel, Stays Among The 
Birds, and Rolls Himself. Pulling up, we saw a body. 

The two men had been surrounded by a small group of Piegans. 
The hair was gone from one side of the dead man's head, but his 
friend had fought so hard the Piegans had left after stealing their 
horses. Stays Among The Birds said that the dead man had been brave 
and that we would take revenge. His friend pointed the direction the 
Piegans had fled. That body lying on the ground made me very angry. 

The Piegans had ridden so hard that their horses were soon short- 
winded, and we came upon them whipping their quirts. As they tried 
to reach some trees we could hear their cries. Now both sides were 
shooting but no one was hit. Two Piegans could not get to the trees 
and dismounted, shooting from their knees. As Sharp Lance rode by 
he yelled for me to stay back. Stays Among The Birds caught hold 
of my reins, saying I was crazy. Sharp Lance rode in close and a bul- 
let hit him in the chest, coming out the back of his neck. When this 
did not stop us, one Piegan lost his head and began running around 
in circles. The other pulled out his knife and stabbed his friend until 
he fell. I wanted to shoot this remaining man but Stays Among The 
Birds held my horse. 

Lets The Women Stand raced past before the Piegan could shoot 
and grabbed his gun. Then Stays Among The Birds dropped my 
reins. As I rode up the Piegan pulled his knife out of his companion's 
body and stood ready. I had an arrow on my bow but decided to ride 
him down. He got so excited he dropped his knife and just as I was 
almost on him someone shot him in the head. 

Since it was getting dark we did not follow the others into the trees. 


We scalped the two Piegans and every man carried a piece. But the 
death of Sharp Lance stopped our victory songs. We packed his body 
on a horse and began our return. Soon it started to rain and we rode 
slowly through a downpour. At dawn we buried our friend on top 
of a rocky bluff, wrapping his body in a blanket and covering it with 
poles and rocks. 

When we arrived in camp I went to my brother's tipi. He was 
angry and said that I was too young to go on fighting raids. But my 
friends said that I was a brave young man and that if I was not killed 
I would become a great warrior. My brother's words meant nothing 
when so many spoke like this. I would not disappoint them and would 
leave the next time I had the chance. 

Soon after I returned from the fight in which Sharp Lance was 
killed I was walking around camp and noticed a group of men and 
boys talking excitedly. Sends Him Home was holding an unbroken 
bronco, blindfolded, without a saddle, its hind legs tied. I overheard 
him offer four arrows to the boy who could break it. Someone said 
that here was a boy who was not afraid of anything. I told Sends 
Him Home that the horse held no gun or knife and that I would ride 
it for those arrows. 

Some men holding the horse pulled off the blindfold as soon as 1 
was on its back. When they handed me the reins the horse stood still, 
its muscles trembling. Then it snorted, bit at my legs, and reared. 
But the hind legs were tied; it spun around and I landed on my back. 
After they had roped it I told Sends Him Home to untie its legs. 

As soon as I was on its back again it ran and bucked. I tried to head 
it toward the flat area above camp but I lost control. When the peo- 
ple cooking their evening meal saw us coming, they scattered. The 
horse seemed to enjoy kicking apart their fires. 

I felt myself slipping and a hard buck threw rue at the entrance to 
my cousin's tipi. My back hurt and Sends Him Home, who had fol- 
lowed on his horse, told me to lie still. Then my cousin came out 
and covered me with a blanket. We have a custom that if someone 
falls in front of a relative on his father's side that relative must give 
him a present. In the excitement I had forgotten. 4 

Sends Him Home gave me the four arrows anyway because I had 
not been afraid. But my back was stiff for a few days. 

Chapter Four 

Two Leggings has mentioned three "elder 

brothers" besides Wolf Chaser, who tried to keep him -from 

stealing away on dangerous war parties. 

English designations of kinship do not exactly 

mirror Crow relationships. A "man's clansmen, according 

to their age, would also be called elder or younger brothers. The 

same term would be used in speaking to any of his 

mother's brothers. 

Not only would a Crow boy have addressed 

his real mother as "mother" but also both his mothers and 

father* s sisters. He would use "father" interchangeably 

for his real father, a stepfather, his paternal uncles, his father's 

maternal uncle, and the son of his father's sister. 

Then, too, he would call his aunts'' Ibusbands "father" 

and -finally he would use the word when talking to any ceremonial 

or adoptive -fathers. 

Later on, Two Leggings remembers a 

"brother-in-law" who lent him a horse during a foray 

against Piegans. If he had been married when this fight took 

place the term could have included his wife's mother's 

brother, his wife's brother, as well as a blood sister's husband. 

However, he was barely nineteen, unmarried, and 

with Wolf Chaser as his only surviving blood kin. The 

term is either a mistranslation, or the chapter a slip in Two 

Leggings' mental chronology. 

ONE DAY in grass-growing moon, when I was about sixteen, Big Boat 
announced a raid. My brother wanted me to wait for a few summers, 

but it was time I made a name for myself. I found Big Boat preparing 
to leave with nine men and asked to go. He wanted to know what 
my brother thought. After telling him I added that I could ride and 
shoot and run as well as anyone in our village. 

Some of his men told him to let me come because I could carry the 
food, go for water, and collect firewood. I said 1 would be glad to be 
their helper. 

Big Boat said I could come if my brother approved, and I ran back 
and begged until he finally agreed. At home I gathered a few pairs 
of moccasins, a buffalo robe, a new bow and twenty new arrows 
which my brother gave me, and an old knife traded from the Gros 
Ventres. 1 Long before dawn I was waiting in the dark outside Big 

Boat's tipi. 

The sun was just rising as we left. We kept our faces north, cross- 
ing the Musselshell River and then the Big River. The first night out 
Big Boat chose a camping spot and, after ordering me to bring in 
some firewood, sat down to watch me. Then he told me to carry 
some water from a creek When I had the fire going he seemed satis- 

Rolling up in my robe that night I thought that now I was poor and 
unknown, but soon people would be talking about me. And if I was 
not killed some day I would become a chief with many honors and 
horses and property. 

We traveled north for many days, even into the country of the Red 
Coats, but saw no enemies. We wore out our spare moccasins and cut 
up our robes to make new ones. Finally we were killing prairie dogs 
to stay alive, and Big Boat decided to turn back. 

After many days we reached the Gun River. It was too high to 
ford so we tied driftwood poles together with rawhide, laid cross 
poles, and tied on our clothes. We fastened buckskin strings to each 
raft and held the ends in our teeth as we swam across with other poles 
under our arms. 2 The current was so strong it carried us far down 
river, and when we reached the other bank I was exhausted. But we 
had no time to rest and continued home. 

As I was walking in the rear someone called out that he saw a per- 
son and started running. As soon as the Blackfeet knew they had been 
discovered they began yelling. All carried guns while we had only 
three. One of our men was shot in the arm. Another, hit in the hand, 
shouted for us to stand or be killed. Throwing off rny pack, I knelt 
and shot at the nearest Blackfeet, my arrow going through his neck 

and spinning him around. When I shot a second arrow into his arm 
he tried to pull it out. I shot a third into his shoulder and it bounced 
up and down as he ran back to his friends. 

We entered a small coulee. Soon a man looked over the ridge nearest 
us and asked in our language who we were. I shouted back that I was 
a Crow. He told us to go home because they had finished with us. 
One of their dogs walked close and I shot an arrow through its chest, 
yelling that if he came near I would kill him like that. 

A little later we watched them disappear into the hills. If they had 
been riding we would probably have all been killed. 

We had lost our robes and were nearly naked. We walked the rest 
of that day and long into the night before sleeping. 

The next day we ran into a buffalo herd and then had enough meat 
for our trip back and hide to patch our moccasins. We were happy 
men a few days later when we walked into our village at the foot of 
Snowy Mountain. 

There was much singing on our return and I was mentioned as the 
only one who had wounded a Piegan. I had to tell my story to the 
friends and relatives who visited my brother's tipi. The two wounded 
men recovered but the one man's hand was stiff for the rest of his 

Soon after our return, Long Horse, Chief of all the Crows, fell off 
his horse and died from the injuries. Crooked Arm was chosen in his 
place. 3 

Our camp packed up after his death and moved in easy stages to 
Big River. During this entire trip our men hunted buffalo. 

Wolf Chaser had gone to visit the Many Lodges camped near the 
Arrowhead Mountains, and I stayed with our village as far as Big 
River. During this time I would often sit on a hilltop outside camp, 
imagining the things I would do someday. I wanted excitement but 
no one seemed to want to go raiding. When I heard that three men 
were leaving to visit the Many Lodges at Arrowhead Mountains I 
asked to go. Perhaps there I would find a pipeholder to join. 

When we arrived we learned that their chief, Grey Dog, had just 
been killed. The new chief was Sits In The Middle Of The Land and 
next to him in rank was White On The Side Of His Head. 4 

The Many Lodges traveled to the Bighorn River, following^ 
downstream until they camped near the present town of Hardin. 
Buffalo were plentiful in the valley and every day we hunted, keep- 


ing the women busy cutting meat into thin strips, laying them on 
racks to dry, and cleaning skins. 

When the buffalo moved off we traveled over the Pine Ridge Hills 
to Elk River Valley and down Arrow Creek to the Arrowhead Moun- 
tains again. I had been staying with Wolf Chaser and while I was 
here he gave me a flintlock he had bought from an old man. 

I made a powder horn by boiling out the core of a fresh buffalo 
horn, carving a driftwood plug to fit the large end which I fastened 
with hardwood pegs. I also made a buckskin bullet bag and hung both 
on a strap over my shoulder. 

So when Half Yellow Face announced a raid against the Shoshonis 
I was ready. I quickly got his and my brother's permission to go, this 
time as a warrior. 

It was a beautiful morning in grass-growing moon as Half Yellow 
Face led eleven of us west, on foot because we hoped to steal horses 
for the trip back. 

We followed Arrow Creek, crossing the flats and walking along 
the river for many days, but we met no people. Our moccasins wore 
out and we had to kill elk and use the skin to cover our feet. We ate 
grouse and bear because we could not find any buffalo, and walked 
so far the weather grew hot. We had long since passed the place 
where the town of Cody now stands and were following the moun- 
tain ranges farther west. In this country we found no white people. 
We even crossed the big mountain range, and then, one day towards 
nightfall, we found ourselves at the edge of a lake so large we could 
not see the other shore. 

I woke first the next morning to a sound like a faraway drum. Af- 
ter the others were up we tried to see the camp we were sure was 
close by. Half Yellow Face pointed to a wooded mountaintop and 
told us to hide there until dark. 

All day we kept watch, but though we still heard the sound, no 
people appeared. Toward evening someone saw smoke rising from 
the lake shore, and Spotted Horse, one of our bravest men, crawled 

He returned very excited and told Half Yellow Face that it was 
not fire smoke but steam from boiling water that bubbled out of the 
ground; the drumming was its noise. When we followed and saw 
the boiling water we did not like the place. Half Yellow Face led us 
homeward but game was scarce and we traveled for days with noth- 
ing to eat. Finally we walked out of the mountains near the present 

site of Cody and saw four enemy tipis on a hilltop. People stood 
around them. Then we noticed a number of horses, separated from the 
tipis by a steep ridge. 

We all agreed that it would be better to be killed than to starve 
to death. Although we almost never cut horses in daylight, we could 
not wait. When the enemy corralled them for the night they would 
be even harder to steal. Then we saw the people go inside to sleep 
during the hot part of the day. 

Half Yellow Face had us move up and chose Short Horn and Wolf 
Goes To Drink, both good runners. We watched them crawl up to 
the grazing horses, taking advantage of every cover and holding sage 
bushes before them. 

After disappearing into the herd, they shortly returned leading two 
horses. Four more men then crawled up and brought back eight more 
horses. While our men kept returning for horses I stayed behind with 
two men to guard the growing herd. 

By the time we had twenty-four head the sun was far past the mid- 
dle, and we began to worry they would wake up. Half Yellow Face 
said we had enough, and once we had quietly walked the horses a 
safe distance we allowed ourselves no rest until we reached our vil- 
lage on the banks of the Bighorn River. 

We returned in leaf-falling moon, almost naked, without any am- 
munition, and starving. But we had twenty-four horses and all of us 
were alive. Our people had been afraid we were dead and there was 
much feasting and dancing. Our story was told among the campfires, 
the victory songs mentioned our names, and again I was noticed. 


Chapter Five 

When the Crow Wise Ones told Two 

Leggings these creation myths, each was laced with lengthy 

dialogues, tangential episodes, and personal 

variations on well-known themes. Every tale, whether of 

the remembered warpath, mythological heroes, or 

supernatural figures, required an entire evening to unfold and 

was adorned with a great variety of stylistic 

devices in word usage and dramatic emphasis. Even then, 

when the fire was down to glowing embers and the 

raconteur received no audience "aho" to a particularly masterful 

expression, his story was dropped until the following 


Throughout his talks with Two Leggings, 

Wildschut interrupted the narrative to ask for a rationale 

behind the bare description of events, customs, and 

ceremonies. Initially the old man -feared that such intimate 

disclosures would cause his death. "But Wildschut was 

patient, and later he sprinkled these abbreviated pieces of sacred 

lore into his manuscript. They have been combined 

here to give the Crow world view, without which. Two 

Leggings told Wildschut, "much would remain like a 

starless $ky" 

Now I MUST TELL you some sacred stories which were told to me by 
our chiefs and medicine men and came from their many winters. So 
I will begin at the time when there was no earth, when there was 
nothing but water. 

We have always believed in one creator of everything and call him 

First Worker. 1 One day First Worker was looking over the world 
and did not like all this water. He made a duck dive down and bring 
him some mud. After rubbing this between his palms he blew it every- 
where, creating the land and mountains and rivers. First Worker 
wanted to make human beings and formed the mud into many groups 
of clay people. To test them he made arrows and stuck them into 
the ground pointing east. When he ordered the first group of clay 
people to charge the arrows, they fell back. The next group also 
stopped when they met the arrows. Although the last group were 
pierced by the arrows, they ran on through. These different clay 
peoples became the different Indian tribes, and the bravest, who had 
charged through, became the Crows. 

First Worker was proud of them because they were not afraid to 
die. He told the other groups to spread out and live in different places 
but he placed the Crows in the center so that whatever direction they 
traveled they would always meet other tribes. 

First Worker also created two boys and ordered them to teach the 
Crows how to live and to give them their religion. These boys were 
First Worker's servants and that is why when we dream and have 
visions we receive both a medicine and a sacred helper to guide us 
through life. Except for important ceremonial occasions and when 
we fast for visions, we address our prayers to our sacred helper, who 
will pray for us to First Worker. These helpers are different for each 
of us as we all have different dreams. 

Our medicine men, the chiefs, and our parents wanted us to fast 
for a medicine when we felt the need. Sometimes powerful dreams 
were seen by a child who did not understand them until years later. 
But the stories we heard in the winter tipis and around the summer 
campfires were usually enough to make us want power and protec- 
tion in our future lives and war trails. 

Once I remember a leading medicine man asking through the camp 
for our young men to fast in the mountains. Our enemies had been 
repeatedly successful. He hoped one of us would receive a medicine 
and take revenge. 

Many of our women fasted and some obtained powerful medicines. 
But usually they did not fast until they had married or were old 
enough to be married, and then it was because they were mourning 
someone's death or because of an unhappy love affair. 

The sweat bath was the first medicine First Worker and his two 


boy servants gave us. 2 In the old days it was our most sacred medicine 
and came before all fasts and important ceremonies. It cleansed our 
bodies, and when we burned incense inside the sweat lodge while 
praying to First Worker, it cleansed our souls. 

The two boys told us that the sweat lodge represented First Work- 
er's body. The steam from the heated stones, or the smoke from the 
incense, was his image. It used to be taken as a cure for an illness, but 
now it is used at any time, like a bath. They still pour the four, seven, 
ten, and countless number of cupfuls on the red-hot stones, but many 
do not know what this means. The first four cupfuls are First Work- 
er's arms and legs. They are also the four main supporting willows 
of the sweat lodge. The next seven are the pipe-pointer star [the Big 
Dipper]. The ten cupfuls represent the cluster stars, and the count- 
less number means the Other Side Camp, where we live after we die. 

If we were preparing for a fast we followed the sweat bath by 
carefully washing our bodies in a stream and scrubbing our nails. Then 
we purified ourselves in a sacred smudge of burning pine needles. 
After that we took no food or water. This also cleansed our minds 
and took away as much as possible our human smell. The Without 
Fires do not like the smell of men, and we fasted for them to favor 


The two boy servants taught us to weep and pray as we fasted for 
our own medicine. If there was no reason to weep we were to torture 
ourselves and sprinkle the earth with our tears and blood. We were 
told that First Worker's birds like to eat, and when we cut a piece of 
our flesh it softens their hearts so they will help us and perhaps be- 
come our medicine. 

If we fasted on a mountaintop we built a small bed of rocks run- 
ning east and west, spread it with pine branches, and faced east as we 
lay down. Then we covered ourselves with a freshly tanned buffalo 
robe rubbed with white clay to show cleanliness. For four days we' 
lay there, sleeping and watching the sun until we saw our vision. 

The two boys sent by First Worker taught us how to make medi- 
cine bundles after we had received our vision. The bundles contained 
the skins of animals we had seen in our dreams. If the sun, the moon, 
clouds, or other things appeared in those dreams, the boys showed 
us how to represent them in different ways. 

The two boy servants taught us that there is another world like our 
earth, the Other Side Camp. The same animals, birds, fishes, and 

plants live there. The same rivers flow and the same mountains rise 
to the sky. 

The Other Side Camp is divided into two clans and together they 
are called the Without Fires. One contains the animals, the sun and 
the moon and the stars, except for the star with a tail which some- 
times appears during the summer months, and the souls of the dead 
the little whirlwinds which dance over the plains. All the water 
animals of both our world and this Other Side Camp world belong 
to this clan, and so do the birds, the thunder, and the dwarfs. Old 
Man Coyote is its chief. 

The other Without Fires clan is made up of everything that comes 
from the earth: the plants, flowers, trees, and rocks. This earth clan 
has four chief spirits: the wind, the fire, the water, and the earth itself. 

The earth is our mother; our body is born from it and returns to it 
after we die. Our breath is wind and it is also our soul. Our words 
are our breath and they are sacred. 

Each of the two clans is divided into many clans represented by 
different Without Fires. When we receive a medicine we join the 
Other Side Camp clan of our helper. Sometimes we fasted many 
times, dreaming of different helpers. Then all these and the dreamer 
made one personal medicine clan. 

The Without Fires chiefs also have their servants. The sun is the 
chief of all the sky beings and its most important servant is the eagle. 
The moon is a lesser chief and has the owl for its servant. The light- 
ning, wind, and rain also have birds as their helpers. 

The chief helpers of the most powerful Without Fires can choose 
who among the lesser Without Fires will belong to the dreamer's 
medicine bundle. He will be told this in his vision. The objects within 
a medicine bundle are the actual dwelling places of the members of 
the dreamer's medicine clan. Many different things are found in each 
bundle because every item represents one of the Without Fires or 
something the dreamer was promised; only he can explain them. 

I have seen a shield on which there were pictures of the sun, rain, 
clouds, and an eagle with lightning striking from its claws. The 
dreamer who was told in his vision to make that medicine may have 
only had a vision of an eagle. But the sun, lightning, wind, and rain 
belonged to the eagle's Other Side Camp clan and he pictured them 

Certain things in a medicine bundle always mean the same: Horse- 
hair represents the hope for horses, elk teeth or beads mean wealth, 


and a strip of otter skin means water because the otter is the chief of 
all water animals. 

All Crows have a sacred helper from the time of their birth, but 
some do not know him because they never receive their own medi- 
cine or because their dreams are not powerful. In that case they can 
buy a duplicate medicine bundle from a well-known medicine man or 
warrior. Some of us bought powerful medicine bundles from well- 
known medicine men even if we had a vision of our own because we 
wanted their power and their sacred helpers. But the owner would 
rarely duplicate all of his bundle. He would hold a little power over 
his copies, as was right. 

We are fond of gambling and the two boys taught us this. The two 
Without Fires clans like to gamble against each other and their stakes 
are the lives of the Indians they have adopted through the medicine 
dreams. When a clan member loses, his adopted child is "eaten" 3 by 
the winning clan. 

The man who dies fighting is lucky. He was looked after with 
special care by some Without Fire father who had won his life in 
the gambling. After he dies his soul is dressed with all the honors of 
a warrior. He becomes one with the helper who won him and will 
live an honored life in the Other Side Camp. ^'"* 

We did not want to receive a vision of the sun because he is a bad 
gambler. Although the dreamer usually became a powerful medicine 
man, he almost always died young. We preferred the moon which 
gambles often but rarely loses; its adopted children lead long lives. 

The clans of the Without Fires also have a servant. He looks like 
an Indian but has pine trees growing out of his lower eyelids. He 
arranges war parties, brings enemies together, and leads the souls of 
the dead to be adopted by the winning members. If no one is killed 
in these battles he is disappointed and tired as he returns home. 4 

Old age is not as honorable as death, but most people want it. It 
proves that a sacred helper was powerful and fond of his child. It 
also shows that he was a good gambler and never lost a game during 
his child's earlier life. When the time comes and we old men go to 
the Other Side Camp to live in peace and happiness, we are one with 
our sacred helper. 

Many men die young on the battlefield. This shows that their 
sacred helper was not very powerful and lost his game early in the 
life of his adopted child. Or perhaps the adopted man did not obey 

his sacred father. When we receive a medicine our sacred helper gives 
us certain instructions. Sometimes we must not do certain things, like 
eating certain foods. If we disobey we may have bad luck or sick- 
ness or suffer a wound in battle. If we keep disobeying our sacred 
helper he will grow angry and place the life of his child as a stake 
against some powerful opponent who always wins. The souls of peo- 
ple who die this way are of a lower kind, but they are alloweid to 
enter the Other Side Camp. However, the souls of suicides and mur- 
derers must roam the earth as ghosts. 

When the Black Robes came to us they talked about the devil but 
we could not find him in the things we knew. We think that every- 
thing is good and bad and that no person or thing is all good or all 
bad. I have known many men who had the ghosts as their medicine. 

But we are afraid of ghosts because they may have a grudge against 
someone and plant a cactus needle in his body, making him sick. This 
can only be pulled out by a medicince man and that costs many pres- 

Rock medicines were also given to us by First Worker's two boy 
helpers. Before First Worker created people there were only himself, 
Old Man Coyote, and a man who was the spirit of all rocks. 5 This man 
wandered over the earth looking for a mate, but without any luck. 
Then he met Old Man Coyote and told him about his search. Old 
Man Coyote advised him to go to the tobacco plant. Inside its husk 
were seeds, and Old Man Coyote said that these were the female 
people. The spirit of all rocks went to the tobacco plant and entered 
the husk. There he found a mate and took her to his home. They 
were the origin of life. 

When the two boy helpers gave the Crows the sweat lodge and the 
Sun Dance they also gave us the tobacco-planting ceremony and the 
rock medicines. Four is our sacred number and that is why they gave 
us four medicines. 

Rock medicines are both male and female because they began with 
the marriage of the male rock and the female tobacco plant. Some- 
times we place a male rock medicine with a female one and do not 
disturb them for a year. By that time a little rock will have come 
into the medicine bundle. 

-If we pass a strangely shaped rock we will often stop and pray to 
it, asking it for good luck and health and happiness. Sometimes we 
will carry that rock home, hoping it may appear in a dream. If we do 


not dream about it, we forget it. But if we do, we believe it is a medi- 
cine rock. We make it into a bundle and pray to it. 6 

Our bundles, the songs belonging to them, and the ceremony for 
using them were all taught to us in our dreams. Together they made 
our medicine. A man who ordered his life with this help was a good 
and happy man and lived for a long time. 


Chaffer Six 

Fleeting moments of peace, such as the one brought about in this 

chapter through the intervention of a Piegan child-captive who had 

escaped to his own people, occurred between the Crows and their 

most hostile enemies. 

But with the Shoshonis, Nez Perces, and Flatheads the Crows 

enjoyed long intervals of amity. The permanent alliance between the 

Crows and Shoshonis began in 2876 when two hundred Crow lodges 

arrived to sound Chief Washkie on his attitude toward the Sioux 


Although Looking Glass'' Nez Perces joined the Crows in a battle 
against the Sioux in 1869, eight years later Crows were scouting for 
General Howard in his pursuit of Chief Joseph's and Looking Glass' 


Before 1867 the Crows had made a lasting 

treaty with the Blackfeet allies, the Atsina. With the 

Mandans and their own cousins, the Hidatsa, they were always 


One famous truce with the Kiowas, 

established just after the Crow separation from the Hidatsa, 

produced intermarriages and the transfer to the 

Kiowas of such cultural traits as the Sun Dance doll, 

individual medicine bundles, and warrior societies. The two tribes 

exchanged visits; Kiowa parents sometimes left their 

children with Crow families for years. 

DURING THE WINTER after my return from the Boiling Waters we 
camped for a while on the flat between the junction of the Little 


Bighorn and Bighorn rivers. On the first clear morning after many 
days of snow Pretty Face asked me to join him hunting. Everyone 
was short of food, and also I was tired of sitting in camp. 

Pretty Face was married to a much older woman and brought her, 
his saddle horse, and his pack horse. I took two horses and carried my 

I walked first. Pretty Face came behind with his bow and arrows, 
and his wife drove our horses in the rear. The snow slowed us as we 
climbed a bluff where Fort Custer was later built 1 to look down 
into the Bighorn Valley. Small buffalo herds were pawing through 
the snow for grass. The wind was right and we managed to get close 
to one bunch. 

I singled out a fat-looking two-year-old bull and wounded it. At 
the shot the buffalo stampeded, my bull straggling after them. But it 
soon fell and I ran up. Then it got to its feet, trying to catch up with 
the herd, but soon slumped again. This went on until finally it fell 
still beside a tree. By now Pretty Face and his wife were out of sight. 

Walking up I saw its tail move, and before I could raise my gun it 
charged. I shot wild, threw the gun down, and ran. When I thought I 
heard it stop, I turned. Something slammed into my chest, throwing 
me on my back in a little hollow. The bull swerved to avoid me, then 
tore past. It also ran into the little cutbank and stood there for a 
moment, staring at me and shaking its head. Red froth dropped from 
its mouth and its eyes turned red. But it would not fall. Whenever I 
tried to roll over, it pawed the ground and switched its tail. 

My blanket had fallen when I hit that bank and I was feeling cold. 
Each time I reached for it the buffalo stepped closer. The day was 
ending, and while I prayed to the Great Above Person the cold grew 

Then I heard Pretty Face telling his wife that he could see my 
tracks from the top of the cutbank and then saying that he saw my 
body. When he called out I was afraid to answer. Pretty Face said 
I must be dead and they began to cry. 

He tied his blanket to his rope. As he dropped it down, the bull 
charged. Then I called out, and while he dragged the blanket along 
the cliff I scrambled up the bank. 

Pretty Face told the bull that it had almost killed his friend, then 
put an arrow through its heart. We built a fire and soon were eating 
and laughing about my running into the bank. 

That night I dreamt buffalo were standing all around me, pawing 


the ground and making the snow fly. I was on my back growing very 
cold. When I woke up my robe had fallen off and I was shivering. 
The next morning I found my gun. We loaded our horses with meat 
and returned to camp. 

Not long after that hunt our village was at the mouth of the Mus- 
selshell along the banks of Big River. Some of us had gone hunting 
and chased one bull into the river. I rode a little distance downstream, 
dismounted, and began swimming with my knife in my teeth. When 
the bull saw me it tried to hook me but moved clumsily in the water. 
I grabbed the long rump hair and climbed onto its back, stabbing it in 
the side with all my strength. When I could not kill it I tried to push 
its large head under water, but it was too bulky. 

My friends had followed along the shore and I called for a rope, 
which I tied to the horns. While they pulled I ripped its sides open, 
but it did not die until we were close to shore. I was glad to slide off 
its back and never did that again. 

That season many things happened. A few weeks after the killing 
of the buffalo in the river a party of Piegans stole some horses. The 
weather had grown colder and ice sealed the creeks and rivers. A 
revenge party was organized and my brother let me join. I put on 
my warm clothes and took my flintlock. Leaving before sunrise, we 
quickly found their tracks. We rode all day and all night, allowing our 
horses only enough rest to keep moving. Soon after daybreak we 
discovered a burned brush shelter. The Piegans must have thought 
the cold weather would keep us at home. 

Later that same day we came around a bend in a creek and they 
were whipping their horses. Seeing us, they dropped the stolen herd, 
but we kept up the chase. I was in the lead as they turned for the 
river. Someone shouted for me not to follow them onto the ice. 

But I kicked my horse off the bank and immediately we began 
sliding. Four Piegans escaped up the opposite bank and I was about 
to ride down the remaining two when they dismounted. Even though 
their rifles turned out not to work, I jerked on the reins. My horse 
slipped and I was thrown, giving the Piegans time to remount and 
reach the other side. They rode halfway up a hill with a steep cliff 
on one side, meeting their friends on a ledge so narrow only one man 
could ride at a time. My friends had caught my horse and we rode 
to the top of the hill and built a fire. I was excited and joined Hard 
To Camp With at the cliff edge. The Piegans were directly below, 

but we did not want to show ourselves. We were arguing over how 
to kill them when the cliff collapsed beneath me. Suddenly I was on 
a Piegan's back, grabbing his powder-horn strap and pulling him to 
me. Just as the strap snapped, Hard To Camp With slid down, snatch- 
ing the man's gun. The Piegan joined his friends at the far end of the 
ledge. I grew afraid and tried to scramble back up. 

But the Piegans were even more surprised than we. One ran off the 
cliff and was battered to death on the rocks; the others tried to hide 
in a shallow cave. 

When the rest of our men slid down my courage returned. Before 
the Piegans could protect themselves we killed them all. 

On our return a great dance with victory songs was held and the 
Wise Ones and warriors praised us. My brother changed his opinion 
of me. From then on I took the danger trails whenever I wished. 

Not long after the killing at the cliff, Piegans killed one of our men 
who was out hunting. When I joined the revenge party my brother 
gave me a shield with a two-headed bear painted on it. He also gave 
me a fast roan mare, and I carried my bow and arrows. We galloped 
hard for several days and long into each night. Then the Piegan 
tracks were less than half a day old; finally our scouts reported riders 
just ahead. My horse was a good runner and I was up front when 
we saw them. As we raced over a ridge they were forcing their tired 
horses up a high hill. When they reached the top I and three others 
were a few horse lengths away. I put an arrow on my bow and yelled 
as I chased them down the other side. 

Suddenly we were almost in the middle of a Piegan camp, and a 
large group were riding to help their friends. As we hurried back 
up I kept turning to watch one Piegan with a white-painted face, 
whose hair was tied in a knot on top of his head. 2 I got ready to 
shoot but an elder brother, riding beside me, caught hold of my bridle 
rope so I could not turn. The Piegan dismounted and his arrow struck 
the edge of the shield hanging on my back. 

Another Piegan stood beside this man as I was aiming and shouted 
in our language for me not to shoot. When he asked about his brother, 
Poor Wolf, I recognized him. 

Several years earlier our warriors had captured some Piegan chil- 
dren, and I had known four well: Poor Wolf, Strap, Rise Up, and Lie 
In A Line. They and a few others had escaped just before this raid 
and must have alerted their people that we were coming. 

The Piegan who had shot an arrow now aimed a gun but Strap 

knocked It away, breaking it against a rock. As we drew near, a Pie- 
gan asked if I was wounded and I said no. If they had not gathered 
around so quickly I would have killed the man who had shot at me. 

We told Strap that his brother had also left camp and must be lost, 
Later I learned that he finally reached his people after living for days 
on roots and berries because the gun he had taken did not work. 

After my return Wolf Chaser said that everyone thought well of 
me and that I seemed to have no fear. When people spoke like this it 
made me even more anxious to become a chief and a pipeholder. 

My left shoulder was raw from riding with that heavy shield swing- 
ing about. From then on I only carried the shield cover, or a minia- 
ture shield, because their medicine power was just as much protec- 
tion. But I still displayed the shield in parades. 

We had made friends with those Piegans, but it did not last long. 
Many times they promised they would not shoot our buffalo or steal 
our horses. But they always lied and soon afterwards we found them 
again in our country. 


Chaffer Seven 

On a raid the Crow novice-warrior 

risked his life to perform defined deeds. Two Leggings 

listed the four important "coups" in this order: Most 

praiseworthy was the striking of an enemy with a gun, bow, 

or riding quirt; then came the cutting of an enemy's horse 

from a tipi door; next, the recovery of an enemy- 's weapon in battle; 

and finally, the riding-down of an enemy. 

Specific insignia advertised these 

honors. The winner of all four could decorate his deerskin war 

shirt with four beaded or porcupine-quill strips, 

one running from shoulder to wrist on each sleeve and 

one over each shoulder from front to back. Merely earning 

the first coup enabled a man to trail a coyote tail 

from one moccasin; from both if he performed the feat twice. 

Eagle feathers tied to a marts gun or coup display stick 

revealed the number of scalps he had taken. A knotted rope hanging 

from his horse's neck told of the cutting of an enemy"** 

picketed mount. And the number of horses captured could be 

read from the stripes of white clay painted under his 

horse's eyes or on its flanks. 'From, a white clay hand on those 

flanks one learned that the owner had ridden down an enemy. 

THE WINTER after we had made friends with the Piegans was very 
severe and I do not remember any war parties going out. The snow 
was deep and the cold so bad that several horses froze to death. We 
stayed close to the mountains on Red Cherry Creek, not far from the 
present town of Red Lodge. 

At snow-melting time we moved to Arrow Creek and then our 
scouts reported many buffalo with thick fur in the Bighorn Valley. 
Sits In The Middle Of The Land gave orders to break camp and we 
moved through the Pine Ridge Hills. Finding great herds roaming in 
the valley, we easily killed enough for meat and robes. 

When I had my share I could hardly wait to hear of a raid being 
organized. During the long cold season I had not visited the white 
trader for ammunition. But I had traded with the Gros Ventres for 
some hickory sticks and had made myself a strong bow, covering it 
with rattlesnake skin which I attached with glue boiled from buffalo 
bones. I also made arrows from chokecherry wood and straightened 
them with a stone arrow straightener. 

After everyone had enough meat and skins, Sits In The Middle Of 
The Land led us back to Arrow Creek country. On our way we 
camped at Woody Creek and I heard of a raid to be led by Sews His 
Guts once a bullet had opened his stomach until his intestines were 
falling out and his friends had sewn the hole with sinew and awl. 

Sews His Guts let me join and early one morning twenty of us 
walked out of camp. I took my gun, as we hoped to stop at the trading 
post on the upper reaches of Big River [Fort Benton]. x Sews His 
Guts carried his rock medicine as well as his pipe. Inside was a rock 
the size of a man's fist with a human face carved on it. It was a power- 
ful medicine and had brought him through many battles. 

We crossed Elk River just east of the present town of Billings. As 
we came up the bench north of the river we were held back by large 
buffalo herds. After killing some buffalo for meat we walked on to 
the Musselshell River, forded it, and continued north to the foothills 
of the Snowy Mountains. Then we began moving carefully because 
we were nearing Piegan country. 

One day when the sun was in the middle of the sky we noticed a 
man on a nearby hill making smoke signals for us to come over. We 
could not see whether he was Piegan or a Crow from another clan. 
Eight men started towards him but we called them back, laid down 
our packs and heavy robes, and began walking in a body. Immedi- 
ately men dashed out from behind rocks and bushes around the sig- 
naller, carrying muzzle-loading rifles and firing as soon as they were 
within range. We found cover but kept advancing. As they fell back 
to reload, I ran out screaming a war cry. 

One hung behind and I shot him in the shoulder. Reaching back, 
he jerked out the arrow, broke it, and threw it on the ground. He 


pulled out his knife and ran at me. Jumping aside, I shot him in the 
breast. He also pulled out that arrow, broke it, and threw it down. 
I tried to keep out of his reach, yelling to get him excited. Then I 
shot a third arrow into his stomach. He made a growling sound, but 
after he broke that arrow he made signs for me to go back. I made 
signs that I was going to kill him. Then he made signs for me to come 
closer so he could fight with his knife, and I made signs that I would 

He was almost dead and there was no reason to be afraid, so I sup- 
pose I played with him. He was my enemy and had probably killed 
some of my relatives. He tried to dodge my next arrow but it went 
into his chest and came out of his lower back. Blood ran from his 
mouth and nose as he walked slowly towards his friends. I shot once 
more. He stumbled and fell and died a moment later. Then I scalped 
him and tied the hair to my bow. After yelling to our men far ahead, 
I sang my first victory song. -^ 

Taking his warbonnet out of its rawhide case I put it on my head 
and danced around his body. I never thought that a Piegan might 
surprise me. I was only a boy and now I had my first coup. I sang 
and thanked the Great Above Person. I danced until the sweat ran 
down my body. 

Eight men came back, and when they saw the Piegan they divided 
the rest of the scalp and joined in my singing, shooting arrows into 
the body. Then we ran to meet the others returning over the hill I 
told of my fight but would not go back with them. After they all 
had shot arrows into the body they wrapped it in a robe and laid it 
on a rock. 

The Piegans had been chased away and nobody was killed. Sews 
His Guts decided to return to camp, which had moved to the Big- 
horn Valley near the present Mission of St. Xavier. 

We were singing as we walked into the village, and I held a long 
willow stick with my scalp tied to the end. For two days and nights 
the women danced the scalp dance and my name was spoken as the one 
who had taken revenge on the Piegans. After our celebrations we 
settled down to our usual life of hunting and playing games. 

The Piegans must have grown very angry that season. Two other 
parties returned shortly after with more scalps. During the night we 
posted scouts to prevent their crawling into camp, but those Piegans 
were very clever. 

Following the herds over the Little Bighorn River to the present 
site of Reno, we continued down river to its meeting with the Big- 
horn and the present site of Fort C. F. Smith. 2 There the men hunted 
again to supply their families with meat and winter robes. 

One night my brother and I woke to a woman's screams. Running 
outside, I heard her just beyond camp, yelling over and over that her 
mother had been killed. 

Torches were lit and men were running around and jumping on 
horses. When I arrived at the place the woman was wailing and tear- 
ing her clothes, her mother's body beside her. Piegans had sur- 
rounded them as they left the circle of the tipis. 3 

The daughter began pushing a knife into her forehead, and blood 
ran down her face. Then she sliced her arms and legs. We took the 
knife away so she would not kill herself. Our people behaved like 
this when a close friend or relative died, but she did not know what 
she was doing. 

I wanted to join the riders chasing the Piegans, but the ground was 
covered with snow and I wore only leggings and no moccasins. I 
ran back, dressed quickly, loaded my gun, and while I was looking 
for my horse someone excited me by yelling that we must kill Pie- 
gans. Jumping on the first horse I found, I whipped it hard to catch 
up. The dark-face period had passed and with dawn we could make 
out the Piegan tracks. My brother-in-law rode a beautiful long- 
winded horse, and when he noticed mine faltering he gave it to me. 

They turned out to be seven men on foot. Their bullets whistled 
by and they fell back, trying to reload. As I was almost on top of 
one man he yelled and lifted his gun barrel. It caught between my 
left arm and body. A bullet burned a hole through my deerskin shirt. 
Riding over him, I grabbed the gun but could not dismount to scalp 
him because Piegans surrounded my horse. One swung at my head 
with his rifle. When I dodged, the butt struck my shoulder, almost 
knocking me off. 

The man I had ridden down was only stunned. But as he got to 
his feet Bull Does Not Fall Down rode up and killed him. 

I noticed the feathers attached to his hair. The other Piegans were 
far enough away so I dismounted and scalped him. Singing a victory 
song, I mounted again and waved the scalp. The six remaining Pie- 
gans were soon chased into a buffalo wallow, lying flat while we 
rode around them. One by one we killed them all. 

Later on we built a large rock pile where this fight occurred, and 


it is there today. When we rode into our village we were singing and 
holding willow poles with Piegan scalps hanging from the ends. 
There was a big celebration and a dance, but I was too tired and 
went to bed. Then the drums woke me and I dressed to watch a 
woman's dance, all the girls wearing their best clothes. I thought 
that perhaps I should stop killing and find myself a wife and make 
my own home. I could still go out on raids, I told myself, but only 
for horses. 

Then I started thinking that the time had come for me to fast for 
a medicine. I walked back to my tipi and lay down, trying to make 
up my mind. If I were to become a chief and a famous warrior, I 
realized that I could not think of marrying and staying at home. But 
it was still some time before I fasted. 

Chapter Sight 

On these early raids Two Leggings has been tempting fate; he has 

been warring without a "medicine" Throughout literature 

on American Indians this word is the translation -for a variety 

of terms meaning "imbued with sacred power" perhaps because 

the curative aspect makes most sense to us. 

As Wildschut interpreted the word: "The Indian who is visited 

in his vision by a personified animal, plant, rock, or spirit, 

accepts this visitant as his sacred protector through life, but he 

never forgets that it was First Worker who first gave his sacred 

helper the strength to do this. This power, known among the Crows 

as 'maxpe* [maash-pay], and commonly translated, 'medicine,' 

was given in greater or lesser degree to all things" 

The Crows walked in a world where anything could be brushed 

with this mysterious potency \ Ordinary objects, if they figured in a 

dream, would suddenly become sacred and valuable. Anything which 

demonstrated the potential for determining the course of life was 

considered medicine. The trick came in harnessing these latent 

powers to one's aid, in the container of a medicine bundle, and 

carefully keeping at bay their harmful aspect through strict 

adherence to that bundle's taboos. 

AFTER THE PIEGANS killed the woman outside camp, we moved to the 
part of Wyoming near the present town of Cody. It was still early 
in grass-growing season and on our way we stopped at the junction 
of the Stinking Water and the Bighorn River. 

While we were there a war party returned from the Sioux country 
with horses. I watched the dancing in their honor and could wait no 
longer. I told some friends that I was going after horses, not scalps, 


and seven were willing to join. We needed a pipeholder so I asked 
Three Wolf, one of the youngest pipeholders and always ready for 
a raid. In a dream some nights before he had been promised horses; 
he said we would not have to travel far. 

He chose Wolf Head, Bushy Head, and myself for scouts and led 
us toward the southern slopes of the Bighorn Mountains. We rode up 
Old Baldy and before reaching the top killed a buffalo, skinned it, and 
built a cooking fire. This was our last meal for two days. 

We had only been out for two days and did not expect enemies 
so close, but a scout Three Wolf had sent to an open area up the 
mountain returned to report people hunting in the valley on the 
other side. 

We rode back with him and saw a large party of Utes and Chey- 
ennes chasing a herd toward our fire. Riding deeper into the moun- 
tains, we watched from some thick pines. When the Utes and Chey- 
ennes discovered the smoking wood they began talking and moving 
their arms, and soon were spreading out to find us. But a trail on 
rocky slopes, especially in winter, is hard to follow. They returned 
to the valley, where we watched their women setting up tipis in a 
large circle. We stayed hidden until dark and then went for our 
horses picketed deeper in the trees. As we mounted I told my friends 
that all earth creatures, the birds, and we ourselves must die some- 
time. Tonight we would crawl into this camp for horses and if we 
were all killed it was not important. But I said that if we lived our 
names would be praised and the women would dance. 

We dismounted at the base of the mountain and crawled to a dark 
grove near their camp. They expected a raid and had picketed their 
horses within the tipi circle. Fires ringed the camp and we saw men 
wrapped in blankets, carrying guns, waiting for someone crazy 
enough to try to reach their horses. 

Sometimes a guard yelled out, asking us to come and smoke. But 
they were afraid to leave the fires. Wolf Head whispered that we 
would get nothing if we just sat there, and started to crawl towards 
the tipis, taking only a knife and a buffalo-hair rope coiled around his 
waist. He dropped to his stomach and wriggled straight for a camp- 
fire where three men with guns were kneeling. Then he was gone, 
but we saw his plan. Between him and the fire was a bunch of sage- 
brush; he had crawled into their shadows. As long as none of the 
men in the firelight moved, he was safe. 

It seemed a long time before we heard a noise behind us, thinking 

first that some Cheyenne had found our location. But then Wolf Head 
whispered, and walked in leading a fine black horse. After crawling 
between two tipis to cut a picket rope attached to a dpi door, he had 
escaped through the shadows on the other side of camp, making a 
wide circle back. We admired him and I told myself I would be 
just as brave. 

When Wolf Head announced that he was going home, some 
younger men grew afraid the Cheyennes would discover the cut 
rope and left with him. Piegan [personal name], Pozash, 1 and I 
changed our hiding place. But the fires threw such a bright glare we 
were afraid to sneak between them. 

Then dawn began to show and the firelight paled. Walking along 
the river bank, I saw three tipis faintly outlined on the other side. I 
hid behind a big cottonwood and made out the forms of three horses 
picketed beside them. Sounds came from inside one tipi and I ran 
back to picket my horse near the river, took off my clothes, and laid 
down my gun. Then I began to wade, holding my knife, bow, and 
arrows over my head. But swimming made too much noise so I 
dressed again. 

Beavers had built a dam there, forming a deep pond. I wrapped a 
blanket around myself and my bow and arrows so only my eyes 
showed. I crossed and passed between the two nearest tipis. People 
were talking inside and I smelled smoke. 

Walking slowly up to a fine bald-faced horse I tossed my rope. The 
animal was nervous and snorted. I looked at the tipi door, but it was 
still. As I tried to rope the horse's neck better a gun went off next to 
my ear. 

At the same moment I felt the air of the bullet the horse reared, 
knocking me to the ground. The man who had quietly slipped out 
of the tipi must have thought he had killed me. I woke to his shouts 
and saw men with guns running towards us. Racing to the river, I 
leaped from the bank to the beaver dam. When the Cheyennes 
started shooting from the bank I threw myself flat. Then, when they 
had emptied their guns, I ran the rest of the way, untied my horse and 
picked up my gun, and joined my friends in the trees. 

They noticed the bullet holes in my leggings and blanket and were 
surprised I was alive. We pushed our horses higher, looking for a 
place to hide for a few days before trying again. But when we 
reached an open area we saw below a large party of Cheyennes leav- 
ing their tipis and soon heard the men in front yelling as they found 

4 1 

our tracks. Their horses were fresh, and they quickly chased us out 
of the trees and up the steeper slopes. 

My horse could hardly walk and by the time I reached the top it 
would not move. The Cheyennes were close, singing and yelling, and 
one called us women in our language. 

I had my gun in my belt, my quiver under my left arm, and my 
bow ready. Piegan, Pozash, and I scattered. The man speaking Crow 
was Wears A Mustache, well known among us. When he called us 
women again, challenging us to fight, I became angry. My horse had 
started to walk and I just hoped it could reach some nearby woods. 
I turned to shoot at Wears A Mustache, but was out of breath and 
the arrow fell short. 

I called out to Piegan, a little ahead of me, that we should die fight- 
ing rather than be killed like this. He looked back but kept riding as 
Pozash and I dismounted. Then Piegan dismounted and ran towards 
us. First I took my muzzle loader, but after one shot it would be use- 
less so I also grabbed my bow and arrows. As I ran towards a thick 
pine grove I saw Pozash hit with a bullet. 

One Cheyenne, holding a large feather-fringed shield, was running 
after me and another kneeling man shot at me, his bullet kicking up 
dirt between my legs. I took rny gun but changed my mind. When I 
hit him with an arrow he limped back to his horse. 

I had been running and dodging bullets but calmed down when I 
wounded this man. As I headed again for that pine grove another bul- 
let just missed me. Cheyennes were running to head me off, but then 
I entered the trees and they seemed afraid to follow. I shot at them 
once with my muzzle loader, and while they ducked I ran like a deer 
and was soon out of sight. 

By the time I made my way to the next slope I could see Cheyennes 
in the lower meadow. I dared them to follow me. They must have 
been very angry. 

I had lost my horse and blanket, my moccasins were torn apart, 
and my leggings and shirt were in rags. But I still held my gun, 
bow, and arrows. Piegan appeared ahead of me and together we 
headed home. 

That night we were caught in a rainstorm and were miserable 
without any blankets. There was little shelter in those mountains, and 
anyhow we could not stop because Cheyennes might be behind us. 

After killing a buffalo the following day we ate a little meat and 
packed some and patched our moccasins. When we reached the Big- 

horn River where it enters the canyon we built a raft, tied on our 
clothes, and pulled it across with thongs held in our teeth. Once on 
the other side we felt safer and a few days later arrived in our village, 
still near the present town of Red Lodge. Everyone thought we had 
been killed since Wolf Head and his men had already come back. 

After my return I began thinking over all that had happened and 
felt afraid. All those Cheyennes had been shooting at me and I had 
lived. Pozash, who had been in much less danger, was dead. I de- 
cided to fast for a vision in which I could see the Without Fire who 
had been my protector. 

When I told Wolf Chaser and Crooked Arm about my escape 
they said I should stop going out. They were right and I told them I 
wanted to go on my first fast soon. But I would not promise to wait 
until I had obtained a medicine before leaving on another raid. 

Wolf Chaser was afraid for me and one day gave me a medicine 
bundle, teaching me the songs and ceremony for opening it and han- 
dling it. I was thankful but did not feel it was very powerful. He had 
never been a real warrior and preferred to live in camp. 



Prompted by the murder of a close relative or friend, the Crow 

mourner who pledged to hold the Sun Dance sought through its 

ordeal the spiritual assistance to wreak successful revenge. Thus the 

Crow dance was not an annual rite, as among their neighbors, nor 

was it a demonstration of piety. Describing it here, Two Leggings 

omits the three days of preliminary rituals, recalling only his painful 

participation in the ceremony's consummation, the self-torture. 

While mourning the killing of his wife and son, the -first owner of 

Shows His Face's Sun Dance bundle received a vision of both his 

next wife and a Sun Dance doll. A year later, at a ceremony attended 

by men only, this doll which he had seen was fashioned from the 

center piece of a white-tailed deer's skin stuffed with a mixture of 

sacred sweet grass, white pine needles, and hair from the temples 

and chin of a mountain sheep. The doll, a kilt from a male black-tailed 

deer's skin, a skunkskin necklace, a buffalo-hide rattle, a hair-lock 

attachment, and a whistle carved from an eagle's wing-bone all were 

enclosed within a boat-shaped container painted to represent the 

mountains, the earth, the sky, and the rainbow (see photos of this 

bundle). Before the dance of Shows His Face, the bundle was used 

in the Sun Dances of Holds The Young Buffalo Tail and Puts 

Earth On Top Of His Head. 

SOON AFTER I returned from that raid when the Cheyennes had nearly 
killed me, our camp moved to the Bighorn River near the present 
town of Hardin. During our stay I heard that some young men were 
leaving to fast in the Wolf Mountains and joined them. After com- 
pleting our preparations we climbed one of the highest peaks and I 

built my bed of rocks and pine branches. But my courage failed that 
first night. I did not receive a vision and walked back to camp. 

I was ashamed that I had not stayed the four days and nights and 
vowed that next time I would not give in so easily. 

Then an uncle of mine, Shows His Face, and two of his young sons 
joined a war party against the Cheyennes. They were unlucky. One 
of his sons, Crane Goes To The Wind, was killed; the other was so 
badly wounded he died shortly afterward. 

Their father was crazy with grief and for more than a moon sat 
alone in the hills near camp. We could hear his wailing. I had been 
fond of my cousins and also left camp to cry over them. 

When my uncle finally returned to us he announced that during 
his time in the hills he had received a dream promising him revenge 
if he would be chief dancer in a Sun Dance. 

He asked his friend, Puts Earth On Top Of His Head, the owner 
of a Sun Dance medicine bundle containing a very powerful doll, to 
act as ceremonial chief for the dance. My uncle was glad when his 
friend agreed. 1 

I took no part in the preparations but watched from a distant hill. 
Everyone seemed to be enjoying himself except for us who were still 

I told Wolf Chaser that as soon as the Sun Dance lodge was erected 
I would join the dancers. He thought that if I hoped to receive a 
vision it would be better to fast on a mountaintop. But the dancing, 
the fasting, and the torture of the Sun Dance were always considered 
the strongest way to obtain a medicine. We were poor and I was 
glad of this chance to know my sacred helper and improve my posi- 
tion. Although my brother tried to keep me from entering the 
Sun Dance lodge, I would not listen. 

When the day came for the lodge to be erected and my brother 
saw he could not talk me out of it he told me to cut a strong branch 
of box elder and to borrow a buffalo hide rope. After cutting the 
branch and borrowing the rope, I stripped to my breechcloth and 
moccasins and went to the site of the Sun Dance lodge. There I met 
Crooked Arm, one of the dance leaders, and asked him to prepare me. 

First he told me to set my pole firmly in the ground inside the 
lodge. Then he took a dish made of mountain sheep horn in which 
he had mixed white clay, sweet grass, and water. Stirring this several 
times, he ordered me to kneel and sang this song: "They want to have 
a lot of things." 


When he finished singing he painted one stripe of the mixture up 
and down on my chest, one on my back, and one stripe down each 
arm. After singing another medicine song he nibbed the mixture all 
over my body and scratched five crosses into the clay with his finger 
tips, one on my chest, and one at each elbow and each shoulder. 
Finally he scratched a half circle from one side of my forehead to 
the other. 

After making me lie on my back he pinched up the skin on the 
right side of my chest, stuck his knife through, and inserted a wooden 
skewer. When he put another skewer on the left I did not show the 
pain I felt. He hung a loop of buffalo rope, also painted with white 
clay, over each skewer and tied the other ends to my pole. He placed 
a skunkskin necklace around my neck, an eagle feather in my hair, 
and a -whistle in my mouth. 

Crooked Arm then told me that if I felt like crying I should, but 
no longer than necessary. If I felt sick I was to look at the doll, which 
would give me strength. 

Six or seven men singers and three women singers entered the 
lodge, the drums began, and I started to dance. The singers hardly 
stopped between their songs and when they became tired new singers 
took their place. I danced until the ropes were completely wound 
around my body and then danced to unwind them, all the time lean- 
ing my full weight on the thongs. I prayed to the Great Above Per- 
son and the Without Fires to pity me, to give me bravery and success 
in battle and a long life and wealth. Especially I asked for a vision 
strong enough to help me make a name for myself. 

I did not cry. I danced and prayed and sometimes blew my whistle, 
keeping all my weight on the thongs. The people watching around 
the dance lodge talked to us to keep us dancing. I forgot time and 
everything else. Toward morning someone called to me that my 
partners were resting and told me to lie down. 

Then I felt my tiredness and could hardly move. But when I lay 
down I could not sleep. It seemed only a short time later that 
Crooked Arm jerked me up by my thumbs, telling me to be ready 
to dance. The singers filed into the lodge and when the drummers 
began they started: "Something you dance for is coming now." 

We danced again around the pole and my skin seemed to stretch 
forever. It was not so sore when I kept the thongs taut, but when I 
let them go slack it hurt very much. 

I suffered terribly that day. Many times I thought I was going to 

faint, but I kept dancing. The sun rose higher, my pain increased 
with the heat, and my thirst became unbearable. I envied the other 
dancers when I heard them calling out a horse, a scalp, or some other 
vision they had seen. I prayed for something soon so my suffering 
would be over, 

As I jerked on the thongs and tried to dance faster the left skewer 
tore loose and blood ran down my body. Now the right side became 
very painful. As I danced close to the pole where the rope had 
wound itself I thought something appeared beside the doll. A vision 
seemed about to come. I prayed harder and jerked with all my 
strength. I must have been reeling when I realized that someone be- 
side me was crying. It was a young woman, a cousin, who had been 
watching my suffering. She stabbed herself in the forehead until her 
face was covered with blood. When I noticed her what I thought was 
going to be my vision went away. \ tried to dance, but I could hardly 
move and felt about to faint. 

Crooked Arm had been watching and now walked over to tell me 
to stop. Holding me over a smudge of evergreen needles, he sang 
this song: "Now I am just coming." 

He cut two poles to support me under the arms, telling me to 
watch the sun until it fell below the earth. 

This was about noon. For the rest of that day I stood and watched 
the sun, praying to the Great Above Person for his help in the things 
I would try to do. That night little brush shelters were put up for 
the dancers and I lay down to sleep. 

Crooked Arm woke me the next morning to say that during the 
night Shows His Face had received a vision of three enemy bodies 
lying on the ground across the river. He asked if I had received any 
vision. When I said no he spoke kindly, saying that I had gone 
through the Sun Dance and now everyone would recognize me as a 
man. In the future, he said, I would be sure to have better luck. When- 
ever the leader received a vision the ceremony was over so Crooked 
Arm helped me back to my brother's tipi. He told me to stop mourn- 
ing and said that now I should marry. 

Soon after this dance Shows His Face led a raid and found four 
Sioux hunting buffalo at the place in his vision. The Crows attacked 
and one Sioux escaped on a fast horse. But the other three were sur- 
rounded and killed and no Crows were injured. His dream vision was 
fulfilled through the powerful medicine of that Sun Dance doll and 
bundle which I later bought. 


My wounds healed after a while, but I was disappointed not to 
have been rewarded with a medicine dream. I decided to fast as soon 
as possible and hoped the Without Fires would look on me with 
more favor then. 


Chapter Ten 

Although the Sun Dance ordeal made Two Leggings eligible for 
marriage, the dual need for a fulfilling vision and a warrior's 

reputation became his exclusive drive. 

The ideal Crow marriage was between a man of about twenty- 
five years with honors to his name and a girl just past puberty 
who was no clan or kin relation. After offering horses to the girl's 
brothers and meat to her mother, the young man received -presents in 
return. When the couple went to live with his parents before setting 
up their own tipi the girl would be presented with an elk-tooth dress. 

But reality was something else. While fidelity was extolled in 

women, a constant man 'was held up to ridicule. Lovers might meet 

during the pairing-off at the cutting of tipi poles, when berry -picking, 

or at nightfall at the edge of camp. A woman changed hands through 

the wife-stealing rivalry of the Lumpwood and Fox warrior societies 

or by the death of her husband) whereupon she might live with her 

brother-in-law. She could succumb to the advances of a seducer, or a 

Crazy Dog a warrior sworn to die on the battlefield could earn 

her favors for his daring. However, her reputation declined with each 

new partner. 

Such customs shocked early chroniclers and gave the Crows 
a reputation as the most dissolute of all plains tribes. 

TOWARD LEAF-FALLING season we moved from the Musselshell River 
to Elk River and then to the Bighorn River, camping near the present 
town of Hardin. The valley seemed covered with buffalo and we 
hunted for our winter supply. Then we broke camp again, forded the 
river, and traveled down the valley, stopping in the cottonwood grove 


where our dance hall now stands a few miles above the present Mis- 
sion of St. Xavier. 

The leaves were turning yellow and we expected the first snow any 
day, but when we reached this place it was still hot. As we passed the 
flat before the grove, I noticed thousands of prairie dogs sitting on 
their haunches and barking at us. 

The next morning the men were parading around on their finest 
horses, singing love songs and joyful songs. The girls, whom I was just 
beginning to notice, were dressed in their best clothes. Someone told 
me that a big dance would be held that night. 

It was a day to make anyone happy, but I was still disappointed over 
my failure to receive a vision during the Sun Dance. Without it I could 
never hope for success on the warpath. So I decided to go on a fast. 
This time I would stay and torture myself, trusting that the Great 
Above Person would help me. 

In my tipi I wrapped an elkskin shield cover around my shoulders 
because it was strong medicine. Picking up a newly tanned elk robe, 
I went to the river, took a sweat bath, bathed, and went to the prairie- 
dog town. 

As I walked among the barking and staring prairie dogs I thought 
that maybe these earth creatures who live underground as the birds 
live in the sky could help me receive a powerful medicine. 

I found the biggest hill in the dog town and dug away some earth 
with my knife to make a more comfortable resting place. Then I lay 
down, facing the east. The next morning I awoke to prairie dogs bark- 
ing all around me. As I walked around I found a root-digger's stick. I 
turned toward the sun and drew out my long knife. On the ground 
I crossed the knife and the stick and then raised my left index finger. 

I called the sun my grandfather and said that I was about to sacrifice 
my finger end to him. I prayed that some bird of the sky or animal of 
the earth would eat it and give me good medicine because I wanted to 
be a great chief some day and have many horses. I said that I did not 
want to stay poor. 

Kneeling, I placed my finger on the stick and hacked off the end. 
Then I held the finger end up to the sun with my right hand and said 
my prayer again. Finally I left the finger end on a buffalo chip where 
it would be eaten by some bird or animal. 

For three days and nights I lay in that dog town, without eating or 
drinking. In the dark-face time of the fourth night I heard a voice call- 
ing from somewhere. Lying very still, I heard it again, but could not 

locate it. The next time I heard the words of my first medicine song 
and I never forgot them: "Anywhere you go, anywhere you go, you 
will be pleased." 

I saw the face of a man who was singing and shaking a buffalo-hide 
rattle. I also heard a woman's voice but could see only her eyes and 
the beautiful hair on top of her head. They filled me with joy and I 
thought that if I ever saw a woman with those eyes I would marry 
her. Then the voices sang: "You. I am coming. There is another one 

Many people seemed to be talking and I became confused. My vision 
people seemed to be coming from behind a hill. First I saw the man's 
head and then I saw him from the waist up. After his song he faced 
east and shouted. Then he shouted to the north and finally to the west. 
The singing grew faster and I fell back as if drunk. When he shook his 
rattle I saw a face painted on it. The man was painted with red stripes 
across his chest and face and other stripes running up and down under 
his eyes and nose. A mouth opened in a face painted on the rattle, and 
I began to faint. The woman did not show any more of her face or 
body but kept singing, and I learned the words to her other song: 
"I am doing it now. I am doing it now. Discovered Plant. 1 I am 
making his lodge. I am doing it now." 

A voice told me that if Comes Out Of The Water 2 came to me I 
would have much property. The woman kept telling me that what I 
was wishing for had come true. I noticed the parting in her hair was 
painted yellow. Then someone seemed to be driving horses toward me. 
As they drew closer I recognized Shot In The Face walking behind 
them. The horses were real and I had woken. Shot In The Face said 
that he had watched me staggering around but did not realize that I 
had been fasting. He was sorry to have disturbed me and asked where 
my blanket was. I saw it was some distance away and then noticed my 
swollen finger. Although it hurt badly I was more unhappy not to 
have dreamt all my dream. I had intended to stay another night but 
felt too weak and returned to camp. My finger was bandaged in my 
tipi. After eating a little food I slept. 

I did not think my dream was powerful, but at least I had some 
medicine songs I had dreamt myself. These were much more powerful 
and valuable than the ones I had sung before in battle, which had been 
bought or given to me. I did not tell my friends or the medicine men 
about my dream. As soon as possible I would fast again for a 
stronger vision. 


In the meantime I did not want to remain in camp. When I heard 
that Crazy Sister In Law was going out I found him. He said that 
he had noticed me in the Sun Dance and wanted such brave men. 

Now it was late in leaf-falling moon and the nights were cold. One 
morning at dawn we gathered on the outskirts of our village. I carried 
my flintlock, the powder horn and bullet bag were on a strap at my 
side, and my bow case and quiver hung on my back. But I was not 
warmly dressed and the men called me Belly Robe because of the old 
wrinkled buffalo robe wrapped around my waist. 

The pipeholder often selected younger men for his scouts so I was 
not surprised when Crazy Sister In Law chose me. It was a good sign 
when he gave me the coyote skin to carry. In my last dream my spirit 
man had carried a coyote skin over his arm. Now I was a scout, soon I 
would be a pipeholder, and then I would be a chief. But I still said 
nothing to my friends. 

The other scouts, Woman Does Not Know Anything, Spotted 
Horse, and Medicine Father, picked me as leader because I was the 
only sun dancer. As soon as we left, Woman Does Not Know Any- 
thing and I rode ahead to cover the country for game or enemy signs, 
arranging with Crazy Sister In Law to meet at a place on the Mussel- 
shell River. 

The two of us rode all that day without seeing any signs, while the 
other two scouts kept us in contact with our men. At dusk we headed 
for the meeting place. Crazy Sister In Law was inside the brush shelter 
which his helpers had built and he invited me to sit next to him across 
from the entrance. It was the first time in my life that I sat there and 
for a while I could not speak. Crazy Sister In Law filled his pipe and 
after we had smoked I gave my report. No one else had any luck lo- 
cating meat and we went to sleep hungry. 

At daybreak the four of us set out again. I carried my coyote skin 
and we all painted our faces red. The older men taught us to carry red 
paint ground from rocks, explaining that it is part of the everlasting 
earth and would protect us, 

For a long time we rode without seeing any animals. Finally we 
came to a bluff giving us a wide view. Since I had not slept well the 
night before I told my companions to wake me if they saw anything. 
The wind was blowing hard and I lay down in the shelter of a little 
knoll, folding my coyote skin next to me. 

I dreamt the coyote skin stood up and began howling. It faced east 

and then north and finally sang this song: "I am going far. I shall bring 
some bones." 

It howled again, still facing east while it sang another song: "I shall 
have a good time." 

Then it threw a bone into the air which came down covered with 
meat. I noticed that the coyote's paws and face were painted red. It 
howled and sang a third song: "My partner. I am going. He is lying 

This meant that the coyote saw an enemy's body lying on the 
ground. Then it howled a fourth time, faced south, and sang a 
fourth song: "This is the land where I used to live. Look that way. I 
want that over there." 

I looked in that direction and a black horse was galloping away. 
My foot was kicked and Woman Does Not Know Anything was 
standing over me, saying that the other scouts had already left. That 
coyote had shown me where to find meat, where I would kill an 
enemy, and where I would capture a beautiful black horse. But I was 
sorry I had been woken. I might have learned more. I carefully 
picked up the coyote sldn and followed my friends. On the way I 
told them to say thank you. After saying it they asked what it meant 
and I told them of my dream and pointed out a high ridge to the 
west. On the other side, I said, would be buffalo. 

Spotted Horse was on the fastest horse and reached the ridge top 
before we were at the foot. We saw him looking, and then he took 
the blanket from his shoulders and waved it at us. We thought he 
meant enemies and made signs back. But he held up the robe's points, 
which meant buffalo. Joining him we saw three animals grazing down 
the slope. Someone said we should pray and sacrifice to the Great 
Above Person, so we all prayed that we would like to eat some of 
this meat. If we killed a buffalo we vowed to sacrifice skin from our 

The dream had been mine so I did the shooting. Hanging the 
coyote skin over my shoulders with the head piece over my fore- 
head, I began to crawl on my hands and knees while two scouts 
circled to drive the buffalo toward me. 

At last a buffalo walked close, thinking I was a coyote. As it pawed 
the ground I killed it with one shot in the left side. 

Each of us pinched the skin on the left hand between two fingers, 
stuck in an awl to hold the skin up, and cut off a small piece with a 


knife. We made a prayer of thanks as we sacrificed this skin to the 
Great Above Person. Then we roasted some of the meat for our- 
selves. The other three butchered the rest and carried the pieces to 
our starving companions not far behind. I did not carry any because 
I was the leader. We met no enemies on that trip and soon returned 
to our village. 


Chapter Eleven 

Songs 'were an integral part of the medicine 

power which Two Leggings f was attempting to accumulate through 

these early "fasts. While personal songs received under 

these arduous circumstances were considered the most important 

kind and were often passed -from -father to son, songs played an 

essential role in every major and minor Crow ceremony 

and every Crow social dance. "They were also a formalized 

means for communicating emotions upon occasions running 

from the seduction of one's wife to the preparation for death when 

the end appeared imminent. 

Some songs, such as children's lullabies, 

were public property. Others were spur-of-the-moment 

creations, quickly -forgotten. If a particular medicine song proved 

to benefit its owner, less successful warriors paid much for its 


Before he ever received his own songs, 

Two Leggings gave a buffalo's hindquarter to Bear and his 

wife. In gratitude the renowned old warrior permitted the youth 

to sing his personal war song: "Friend, we will go there. I would 

like to have plenty. I have plenty" 

"Friend" Two Leggings explained, was 

the Without Fire visitor of Bear's medicine dream. "We will go 

there" expressed the singer's request that this sacred helper 

accompany his coming raid. "I would like to have plenty" spoke 

his hopes for that raid, and "I have plenty" his assurance that 

those hopes would be realized. 


I HAD HOPED for better luck on that war party when I was leader of 
the scouts, and still felt I did not have a strong medicine. After our 
return I went deer-hunting for skins for moccasins, and then camp 
moved from the Musselshell River to the Elk River where I killed 
several buffalo for robes. Traveling slowly up Elk River, we finally 
camped close to the present town of Livingston, at the foot of a place 
we called Bad Mountain. 

After those hunts I was more unhappy and took only a small part 
in the dances and celebrations. My brother noticed this and one night 
in his dpi asked what was wrong. When I explained he said that no 
one should go out as often as I did without some protection. I told 
him that I had fasted and received a vision, but he said I had never 
told him about it and would be killed if I kept on. 

The next morning Medicine Crow, Young Mountain, Blue Handle, 
Walking Mouse, Bull Does Not Fall Down, and others whose names 
I have forgotten joined me in a ceremonial sweat bath. That after- 
noon we started to climb Bad Mountain, each of us carrying a newly 
tanned buffalo hide painted all over with white clay. 

On our climb we passed a spring and stopped to take off our cloth- 
ing, wash, and clean our fingernails and toenails. Then we built a 
fire, dropping in some pine needles to purify our bodies with their 

It was a long climb and although leaf -falling moon had just arrived 
the weather was hot. We were tired as each man selected his spot, 
built a rock bed, and covered it with fresh pine branches. Then we 
prayed and slept under our buffalo robes. 

That night none of us received a vision, but we continued our fast, 
praying and weeping through the following day. The second night 
I dreamt of a man telling me that a bird sitting on top of Bad Moun- 
tain would see me the next night. The dream ended as the man dis- 
appeared. The following morning I woke to find the others prepar- 
ing a meal down the mountainside. When I joined them, Medicine 
Crow said that they had not dreamt and he thought we should break 
our fast. 

I told them that they could return home but I was wanted on the 
mountaintop that night. Then Medicine Crow decided to stay on, 
but Little Fire, Young Mountain, Blue Handle, and the others said 
that they would wait at the foot of the mountain. They lacked the 
courage to fast one more day. 

I chose a new resting place and fasted for three more days and 
nights, growing very hungry and thirsty. All the time I prayed and 
my heart pounded like a drum. 

After dark-face time of the third night, rain fell, and I crawled 
from my place underneath an overhanging rock to lie on my back 
and catch drops. I must have fallen asleep because a voice on my right 
told me to look at a man over there who was well known all over the 
world. The voice said that he was Sits Down and that he was sitting 
on the mountaintop. 

Looking up I saw a person with clouds floating in front of his 
mouth. A ring of clouds hung above his head, but then I saw that it 
was really a hoop with many kinds of birds flying around it. An old 
eagle flew and perched on this hoop. 

When a voice asked if I knew that I was known all over the earth 
I did not answer. 

The person's face was painted with pink stripes down his cheeks 
which meant the clouds. Then clouds rolled in front of him, and when 
they separated, his face was painted with a wide red stripe across his 
forehead. This meant I would get what I wanted. His eyebrows were 
painted yellow and this meant sight. He sang this song: "I am going 
to make the wind come. I am going to make the rain come." 

A different voice said that all the birds of the air were going to 
show their feeling toward me and that it would come true. After some 
silence this second voice said that it had been told to sing. Now I 
understood that the second voice was the cloud person's servant who 
had been instructed to give me a medicine song: "Come. Long ago. 
Thanks. You will be a chief." 

I followed the man-in-the-cloud's pointing arm and saw a large 
number of horses appear above the horizon. 

The words "come" and "long ago" referred to a time years before 
when I had joined some boys on a fast on this mountain. Although 
we had tortured ourselves we had been too young and had given up 
when we became hungry. 

The dream was over and I woke to the rising sun. Soon Medicine 
Crow walked over and pointed down the mountainside to our people 
breaking camp. 

After joining our friends down the mountainside we all walked to 
the valley. Medicine Crow told me that he was afraid he would never 
live to be an old man. (But his life disproved this. When he died in the 


summer of 1020, he was over seventy years old.) He did not tell what 
he had seen but he felt miserable and was so weak he could hardly 

Three other young men who had come signalled with a blanket for 
us to join them on a ridge top. Before reaching them we came upon 
some antelope, killed one, and built a cooking fire. We finally walked 
into camp just as it was pulling out for the Musselshell River. 

During the time we camped along that river an old man named 
Four Dance visited our tipi and told us the story of his medicine 
dream. It made a great impression on me. This was his story. 

I had three older brothers, Passes All The Women, Does Not Care 
For Women, and Women Leggings. Now they are all in the Other 
Side Camp. 

When I was about seventeen I wanted to make a name for myself. 
But my older brothers would never let me join a raid. We were living 
with our grandmother, Holds By The Gun, because our parents had 
died long before. 

Once my brothers were gathering their weapons for a raid. When 
my grandmother asked them to pity me they said I was too fat to 
run. She told Does Not Care For Women that they were wrong not 
to take me and that she would help me. 

The next day, after they had left, she called for me. Holding a big 
bundle, she explained that this powerful medicine had belonged to 
her grandfather and contained a Sun Dance doll and a skunkskin. If 
I took it to a high ridge and fasted and prayed she was sure the Great 
Above Person would pity me because the bundle had brought power- 
ful dreams the few times it had been used. 

We were camped along Elk River near the present town of Billings. 
Some young men and I climbed the rimrocks along the southern shore. 
My grandmother had loaned me a white-painted buffalo robe and had 
given me a stick hung with two eagle feathers and painted with white 
clay. After building my rock pile on the highest place I planted this 
stick at the head and fasted for four days. 

On the morning of the fifth day I woke and thought about going 
home. Everyone else had left. But I fell asleep again and saw seven 
men and one woman far off to the west. At first they seemed to be 
standing on Bad Mountain in the Crazy Mountains north of the pres- 
ent town of Livingston which we also call the Bird Home Moun- 


tains. As I watched they sang a song. The second time they appeared 
on Snow Mountain in the Crazy Mountains. One man was dancing 
and wore feathers tied like a fan behind his head. His face was painted 
with lines across his cheeks and forehead. Then they disappeared, 
and the third time I saw them standing on Bear Head, one of the bluffs 
between the present towns of Park City and Columbus. The men 
held up drums but I could see their painted faces through the drum- 
heads. A skunk inside one drum had fire burning in both ears. The 
seven men and the woman were singing and dancing but I could not 
hear the words. They disappeared again, returning a fourth time on 
the rimrocks north of the present town of Billings, singing: "Buffalo 
are coming toward me." 

Then they stood in front of my rock pile. When they threw off my 
blanket I lay still. They hid their eyes with eagle feathers and sang 
again: "Your poles are bulrushes." 

Beating their drums, they tried to prevent me from seeing what 
they held. I thought it was iny grandmother's doll but then I saw it 
was a screech owl. When the owl sat on my chest they sang again: 
"Beat the drums." 

A man stood on my right, his face covered with a large elk robe. 
Suddenly he threw it off, pulled out his flintlock, and shot the owl. 
It hooted and I think went inside my body. The man picked up some 
dirt and put it in his gun, saying that rocks all over the earth are hard 
but that even if all the guns were aimed at me I would not be hurt. 

Then he shot at me, and the owl, which had returned to my chest, 
jumped aside. I felt myself bouncing up and down. A big black owl 
flew up from the valley and sat beside me. The man holding the gun 
told the other people that I was poor and that they might help me. 

The black owl sang this song: "I shall run all over the earth." 

When he had finished I noticed the trees had turned into people 
who were all shooting at the owl. A few feathers dropped as it flew 
away and returned again. Some tree people gave me small pieces of 
meat. Some of my own horses appeared and I noticed one dead on the 
ground. I thought it meant bad luck. 

When I first woke I thought I had been shot and that my dream had 
been given by some bad spirit. 

After returning to camp I gave my medicine back to my grand- 
mother, but it was not time to tell her about my dream. She seemed 
worried since the bundle had always brought powerful visions before. 

Some of our best-known medicine men thought my dream was very 


strong and that I would never be killed in battle. Then I told my 

One day after I had married I was camped close to the Arrowhead 
Mountains near a good spring. A man rode up to my tipi and, point- 
ing to some willows near the spring, said that enemies had built 
trenches there. They could not be chased away since the best war- 
riors were hunting. He had heard of my dream and asked me to do 

I told him to wait and went inside. After painting yellow stripes 
across my eyes and zigzag lines from my forehead down across my 
cheeks, I put on a fringed buckskin shirt decorated with large quill- 
work circles on front and back. I also hung two red sashes under each 
arm and wore a scalp-lock necklace. When I walked toward the 
enemies my wife came behind holding one sash. After stopping four 
times I told her to go back. 

They had covered their trench with bijckskins and dirt and now 
raised the cover to fire, but I continued walking. A few feet away 
one man shot at me but missed. Another jumped out and held his 
gun muzzle against my chest. But when the gun went off I was not 
shot. As I walked I made a noise like a hooting owl and sang my medi- 
cine song. Behind me our men began firing. The enemies tried to es- 
cape from their trenches but then they were in the open and all were 

I was never wounded and only once had a horse killed under me. 
My dream was powerful and though I had been a poor boy I grew 
to be a chief and a medicine man. 

I was excited by this story and hoped to make a name for myself 
the same way. But I needed a strong medicine to protect me and de- 
cided to fast again soon. 


Chapter Twelve 

In their youth Two Leggings and his 

companions had to elicit visions through rigorous, ritualized 

suffering. Later on they received prophetic dreams 

without preliminary ordeal and even experienced unexpected 


The Crows distinguished four grades 

of dreams. In "no-account dreams" one saw when asleep some 
incident which merely left a vague sensation. 

"Wish" dreams contained some 

medicine power. However, being little more than hopeful references 

to property and different seasons, they did not always 

come true. The dreams which Two Leggings' aged guests 

give him when they attend his sweat-lodge ceremony are of 

this type. 

Third were the definite "property" dreams. 

In them a man saw blankets, shawls, warbonnets, horses, and 

the like, which he later acquired through actual events. 

Finally there were the "medicine dreams" 

or "visions" Although Wildschut uses the words almost 

interchangeably, their slight difference is demonstrated when Sees 

The Living Bull mentions his fourth fast's medicine dream 

turning into "a real vision" once he had been woken by rain. In 

these the faster received, through his sacred helper, his medicine 

and its accompanying instructions. 

DURING THE SNOW SEASON we camped on Arrow Creek, but when the 
snow melted and the ice left the rivers we moved to Dry Head Creek 


between Arrow Creek and the Bighorn River. Soon after our tipis 
were pitched, eight of us left camp to fast in the Bighorn Mountains, 
planning to climb a mountain on the east side of Black Canyon called 
Where The Thunderbird Sits Down Mountain. 

Most of our people were afraid of this place because it was the 
Thunderbird's home. Long ago a man named Covers Himself With 
The Grass was traveling through this country. He heard a strange 
noise and looked up to see the Thunderbird flying down. His horse 
bucked and when he dismounted, it ran off . With his rawhide rope 
he tied himself to a tree at the canyon bottom. The rush of air from 
the Thunderbird's wings was so strong the trees on both sides were 
uprooted. Covers Himself With The Grass was saved, but his tree 
was thrown about until he was sure it would pull up. 

We decided to fast there because we wanted a stronger medicine. 
Medicine Crow, Young Mountain, Mouse Walks, Shows His Tail, 
and I were all close friends, but Young Rabbit, Plenty Screeching 
Owl, and Yellow Weasel were nearly strangers to us. 

Each man carried his own robe painted with white clay. When we 
reached the foot of the mountain we took a sweat bath and cleaned 
ourselves. Building a fire we purified our bodies in sweet-sage smoke, 
and then painted ourselves with white clay. We arrived at the top 
before dark and built our little rock piles two feet above the ground. 
Covering them with fresh pine branches, we then laid down flat rocks. 

I asked Young Mountain to help me sacrifice my flesh and he lifted 
the skin on my left arm, cutting out a piece that looked like a horse 
track. I hoped to steal horses and had asked for that cut. Then I 
faced east, held the piece up to the sky, and told the Great Above 
Person that I wished for some animal to eat this and help me receive 
a powerful medicine. I also asked for a long life. 

Plenty Screech Owl had Young Mountain cut a horse track on his 
arm. His was larger but when I asked Young Mountain to cut me 
again he said mine was big enough. 

Medicine Crow said he was going to cut off the tip of his right 
index finger but instead had Young Mountain cut horse tracks on 
his arm. Again I asked to have my cut enlarged and Young Moun- 
tain punished me by cutting many small tracks. Then he sliced off 
the end of his own index finger. We all stood in a row, raised our 
sacrifices to the sky, and prayed out loud for a long time. 

I was surprised that Medicine Crow had joined us again. His father 
was Sees The Living Bull, one of our most powerful medicine men, 

who could have made his son a good medicine. But Medicine Crow 
told me later that his father encouraged him to obtain his own medi- 
cine, saying that then he could care for his own children when Sees 
The Living Bull died. 

Stretching out on my back I watched the moon and stars by night, 
and followed the sun through the next day. As I prayed I grew very 

After the second night five men wanted to return home. I did not 
think about giving in and let them leave. Medicine Crow and Young 
Mountain also stayed on. 

We told the returning men to kill an elk at the foot of the moun- 
tain, to cache the meat, and then to tell our families we were staying 
all four nights. 

A strange noise rushing up the mountainside woke me early the 
third day. Immediately I thought of the Thunderbird and grew afraid. 
As it drew near I pulled my robe around me. I felt better when it 
proved to be a hailstorm, and cut leafy branches to protect myself. 
Then all became quiet again. I lay and thought of all the animals of 
this earth, praying that the Great Above Person would lead one to 
me in my sleep, that it would eat my flesh and become my sacred 
helper for the rest of my life. 

All the next day I watched the sky and slept. At dark-face time 
that night the vision of my last fast came again. When I woke it was 
nearly dawn but one bright star shone above the eastern horizon. Af- 
ter I saw it I covered my head with my robe and fell asleep again. 
A man appeared above the horizon and a voice which I could not 
locate spoke to me. The man was waist-high above the horizon where 
the sun would soon rise. A hawk perched on a hoop on his head. 
Something red in the right side of the man's hair grew larger and 
finally colored the entire sky. A streak of the brightest red went up 
the middle. The man asked if I knew the name of the bird on his head. 
I lay still without speaking. He said the name of the bird was The 
Bird Above All The Mountains. In the future, he said, people would 
hear about me all over the earth. 1 Then I learned my vision man's 
song: "Thank you. A long time going to be a chief. Thank you again." 

Behind me I heard a voice but saw no one else. It told me to look 
at that man on the horizon whose name was Looks All Over The 

When I saw my vision man again a large black eagle was flying over 
his head. The hoop where the hawk was sitting was painted partly 

blue, which meant the earth, partly yellow, which meant the day, and 
partly black, which meant the night. The man took off the hoop, 
looked at it, and told me to look around. 

After singing another song, he held the hoop before his eyes. Al- 
though he was seeing several visions, \ saw nothing. The other voice 
behind me said to look west and asked if I saw the trail. 

Through the hoop held before my eyes I had a vision of a trail 
running from the west, where the wind comes from, and heading 
east. At its end I saw a tipi and grazing horses. Between us snow cov- 
ered the ground. Then a big eagle flew over my head and I noticed 
its claws. The voice behind me said to look toward the Musselshell 
River. Turning in that direction and looking through the hoop I saw 
bodies on the ground. The eagle hung over them and pretended to 
grab one. My dream man sang: "Thank you. A long time going to be 
a chief. Thank you again," 

My vision man said that Wolf Runner was coming to see me. He 
said that the big eagle was the same one which had visited me on Bad 

Then the voice behind me said to look east, where I saw a big sweat 
lodge built of forty-four willows and four small sweat lodges of four 
branches each, all close to the Bighorn River where my future house 
would stand. Whenever I wanted to go on the warpath, the voice said, 
I must build those sweat lodges and sacrifice to him and his kind. 

The sun was just rising as I woke, covered with perspiration. My 
blanket lay apart from me. Standing up, I thanked the Great Above 
Person for my vision and medicine. Young Mountain came over and 
asked if I wanted to stay. Since 1 had received my medicine we left. 
I had felt weak and exhausted but now my energy seemed to return. 
My arm had hurt and I had lost much blood but now I hardly 
noticed it. 

Medicine Crow, Young Mountain, and I walked to the foot of the 
mountain where our five friends were waiting. After enjoying a meal 
of elk meat we lit a pipe. Someone said that since this was the only 
time we could speak about our visions we should smoke this pipe and 
tell what had come to us. 

When my turn came I smoked and said that I had seen the same 
person who had appeared to me on Bad Mountain. I told about the 
horses but said I did not understand the snow's meaning. 

Young Mountain said we Crows knew less than half the earth peo- 
ple; to have them all know me meant something great. 

Medicine Crow held the pipe and said he had seen a man and had 
dreamt a good dream. But then another spirit he could not see told him 
that the first man was a bad spirit who spoke lies. The second spirit 
then appeared as a man wearing a buffalo robe with the hair side out. 
But Medicine Crow could not see his face. Telling Medicine Crow to 
look toward the joining of the Little Bighorn and Bighorn rivers, he 
said that something was shining over there. He was to remember this 
because when that thing would really be there he would become a 

(Many years later, when Fort Custer was built near these rivers, we 
noticed how some windows shone in the light of the setting sun. Med- 
icine Crow became a chief about the time the fort was completed.) 

Young Mountain told Medicine Crow he did not think the vision 
very powerful. Mine had been best, he said, for the world was large 
and if I became known all over that meant something powerful. He 
could hardly believe it. I assured him it was true and added that as 
soon as I was a pipeholder we would not have to follow other men. 

When the pipe was handed to Young Mountain he said that al- 
though he had cut off his fingertip he had not received a dream. 

Shows His Tail was passed the pipe and said he was a man like us. 
He had seen an enemy's body lying along the creek which runs be- 
tween the Little Bighorn River and Rotten Grass Creek. He said that 
when we killed an enemy there he would strike the first coup. 

The rest had not dreamt anything so we started back to camp, ar- 
riving at sunset. When my brother asked if I had received a vision I 
said that I had, and he was pleased that now I would have better luck. 

Shortly afterward Shows His Tail went on a raid and took an 
enemy scalp at the place in his dream. 

Chapter Thirteen 

When Two Leggings bemoans his orphaned state it is more 

rhetoric than -fact. He completely neglects another social group in 

Crow society, -from 'which no one was excluded. 

At birth every Crow baby belonged to the one of thirteen clans to 

'which his mother belonged. Among members of these ^lodges 'where 

there is driftwood" as the Crows called clans, existed the solidarity 

of wood entwined. Fellow members feasted together, assisted their 

clan brothers about to be initiated into the Tobacco society, and aided 

widowed and orphaned members. However it was forbidden to marry 

within one's own clan. 

Sometimes clans temporarily separated from a larger band for 

hunting purposes. But unity among all clans was the communal hope. 

When a conflict arose between two clans, the camp police and 

neutral clans would try to bring about peace, pleading, 

"we are one people" 

Two Leggings himself belonged to the Not Mixed Clan, so called 

because when the Big Belly clan was renamed most of its members 

were war leaders who did not associate with ordinary folk. 

Obligations were also due toward members of one's father's clan. A 

man could not cross a paternal clansman 's path without giving him a 

present, and he would often feast these clansmen and present them 

with gifts. Sometimes they became a child's name father and, as in 

Two Leggings* case, a medicine father. 

AFTER THAT FAST our camp moved to Hits With The Arrows. On 
the way I told Young Mountain and Piegan who was also called 
Walks Toward The Two Mountains that I was ready for a raid. 

They were my partners 1 and when they asked to join I told them to 
gather sixteen willow branches and some charcoal and to meet me the 
next morning. 

At dawn we rode to a hill top. With the willows I built four small 
sweat lodges, crossing the branches two by two and setting them in a 
row with their openings toward the rising sun This was also toward 
the Sioux country, which my medicine person had pointed out for my 
next raid. I powdered the charcoal, mixed it with buffalo grease, and 
rubbed this all over the branches to show revenge. In tiny holes in 
the center of these lodges I made little fires and burnt bear root 2 shav- 
ings. Then I cut a long slender pole and tied a red blanket with a 
black circle and four black crosses to the top. The circle meant the 
hoop I had seen and the four crosses the four directions my vision 
man had shown me. After planting the pole before one lodge I faced 
the sun, said "aho" three times, and sang my vision song: "Thank you. 
A long time. You are going to be a chief. Thank you again." 

I prayed to the One In The Sky and to all up there that I wanted 
a long life, that tonight when the stars were out I wished them to 
visit my sweat lodges. If I was lucky on my raid I promised to make 
these lodges again for them, and to make them every time I went out. 

When I sat down Young Mountain said that he had never seen sweat 
lodges made of only four willows. I explained how the voice had 
shown them to me, instructing me to build them before every raid. 

My prayers and sacrifice over, we set out on foot toward the Sioux 
country. Later that day, as we came upon a small buffalo herd, I 
crawled within range of a fat cow, rested my flintlock on a forked 
stick I usually carried, and killed it with one shot. We ate and then 
cut some meat into strips which we strung on sticks for each man to 
hang on his back. That night we built a little brush shelter. Before 
going to sleep Young Mountain said that he and Piegan were worried 
that I carried no medicine for our protection. 

I said that those four sweat lodges had been given to me for a med- 
icine. But I promised that when I was a pipeholder I would carry a 
medicine whenever I left camp. Reminding him that he had a father 
and a mother to help him, I said that I was an orphan and had to depend 
on myself to discover right and wrong. He knew my brother was not 
a warrior and could not help me. Although many of the Wise Ones 
in camp would not like what I was doing, I said that if I sat in camp 
wishing for someone to give me a medicine nothing would ever hap- 
pen I must find out for myself and be very careful to avoid bad luck 


Only that way would the Wise Ones begin to trust me and look on 
me as a man. Their hearts would soften and they would help me. I 
assured Young Mountain that these sweat lodges were my medicine 
now and would protect us for this trip. 

He said that then he wished I had brought them, but since they had 
come this far they would follow me. I admitted pretending to be a 
pipeholder without a pipe, but I urged him not to be afraid and prom- 
ised again to make a medicine on our return. 

We traveled east along the Elk River, sleeping several times before 
finally reaching the country around the present town of Forsyth. 
There we spotted seven horses grazing on a high hill south of the 
river. Although we saw no enemies we knew they must be near and 
hid in the brush of a nearby coulee. After a while Young Mountain 
went for a closer look while Piegan and I ate dried meat. The sun was 
in the middle when Young Mountain returned to report that they 
were strays. Now they were grazing downhill beside some buffalo. 
He described a fine brown mare with a colt, but said the others 
looked poor. 

Leaving our hiding place we lit some dry buffalo manure and held 
it in our hands as we walked around the horses. When they tried to 
smell us and stood still, we slowly approached, walked them to 
water, and drove them back to a high bank where we roped the 
brown mare. The rest did not run and we roped one after another, 
finishing about dark and eating again. Piegan had been looking them 
over and thought they belonged to a bunch stolen from Cutting Tur- 
nip the leaf -falling season before. 

Since rny vision's first part had come true I wanted to be careful. 
The enemies who had lost their stolen horses might still be around. At 
first we were afraid they were unbroken. But after Young Mountain 
jumped on the brown mare, Piegan and I chose mounts. Riding as far 
as Porcupine Creek that first night, we made camp close to the river. 
Two days later we arrived near our village at Rock Pile, close to the 
Buffalo Heart Mountain and northwest of the present town of Cody. 

As we rode into the village in the morning, driving four horses and 
a colt before us, we sang victory songs and shot our guns into the 
air. A dance was set up in our honor and the older men praised my 
name. I was proud, but I did not forget to thank the Great Above 
Person for the great medicine dream. 

I had been careful because my future depended on not hurting my- 
self or those with me. Although few honors were won this trip I had 

brought horses, which are always valuable, and I had tested my medi- 
cine vision. My medicine person had asked me to look east and had 
shown me horses close to where I found them. My dream was real, 
and I wanted to go in the other directions to make it all come true. 

Some pipeholders did not like my leading a war party without hav- 
ing been accepted as one of them. They said bad things would come 
of it, but the younger men admired and encouraged me. About this 
time I was initiated into the Lumpwood warrior society and felt this 
another step toward improving my standing. 

A few days later my brother said that if I had decided to become 
a pipeholder I should ask a leading medicine man to make me a dup- 
licate medicine. But I still thought I could do all these things alone 
and would not listen. 

When I asked Young Mountain to join another horse-stealing raid 
he asked where and I said north to the mouth of Wolf Creek as my 
vision had directed. He asked me to carry a real pipe this time, even 
if we did not smoke it, and also suggested we take some boys as help- 
ers and scouts. Then it would appear that I was a real pipeholder. 

He was right but we would have to find boys I could trust since 
the chief would never allow me to pretend I was a pipeholder. If he 
heard about this or the camp police caught me my weapons would 
be broken and I would be beaten. But if a person who disobeyed was 
successful all could be forgotten. I was headstrong and would not 
wait for anything or ask anyone for help. And I was sure I would 
return successfully. 

But I promised to follow Young Mountain's suggestions. That night 
I stood in front of Rattle's tipi and told him to come outside. When I 
asked if he wanted to join us he said that he would have to wait un- 
til his people were asleep. Then he would take his father's bow and 
arrows, spare moccasins, and horse. 

I offered him some moccasins. Young Mountain walked up and the 
three of us sat in the bushes, watching his tipi. His father came home, 
the fire burned lower, and we knew they were asleep. 

Rattle crawled into the tipi and a little later came out with the bow 
and quiver over his shoulder. When his father said something Rattle 
straightened and ran for his father's horse. Then we heard his father 
wake his wife. 

Rattle reached his horse, quickly tied its mouth with a rope he had 
borrowed from me, and jumped on. But he had forgotten that the 
horse was picketed to a stake. The rope drew tight and the horse 
fell. His father grabbed him on the ground. 


Rattle began crying, saying that he was only taking things because 
he was afraid his father would not let him leave. 

His father was not angry but said he should have asked first. Then 
he called us over and asked us to wait until the next day when he 
could give his son a good horse and spare moccasins. He said he 
would not stop Rattle, because it showed he was going to be a man, 
but that it was not good to steal. 

After they had gone inside Young Mountain wanted to leave be- 
cause if we had bad luck the boy's parents would blame us. He was 
right and also in daylight the camp police could easily spot us. That 
night we slipped out. 

At sunup I built the four medicine sweat lodges and prayed for 
success. Then we rode north to the Piegans. After several days we 
approached their country and began riding carefully from hilltop to 

Finally, we spotted a Piegan camp in the distance, moving in our 
direction. Afraid scouts might be in front, we hid all that day in a 
thick grove of cottonwoods and chokecherry bushes. As the sun was 
setting we saw them pitch their camp close to a creek and turn their 
horses out to graze. 

Young Mountain asked me to sing a medicine song and to promise 
that if we had good luck I would make a medicine when we returned. 
I had the pipe tied to my belt, but did not want to risk the anger of 
some Without Fire by using it. Besides, I did not even know the 

It had been dark for some time when we finally left the grove. Soon 
we heard dogs barking and Piegans talking. When Young Mountain 
asked me to sing again I told him not to worry and reminded him 
of my dream of the buckskin horse I was to steal on this northern 
trip. After promising again to make a medicine when we got back I 
sang a medicine song in a low voice. 

No one seemed to be guarding the horses that were grazing a little 
apart from camp. Crawling on our hands and knees until we saw them 
clearly, I pointed to the buckskin I would go after while Young 
Mountain tried for the pintos. However, I told him to leave with 
whatever horses he could quickly round up, I could remember when 
he had crawled right among the tipis, and I wanted no bad luck when 
I was responsible. 

I roped my horse and drove off several others, while Young Moun- 
tain caught a good-looking sorrel and also drove away some more. 

Together we had twelve and for the rest of that night we rode as 

fast as we could, continuing through the next day. Then we stopped 
briefly to give our horses a little grass and water. 

Young Mountain picked up a spotted eagle's tail feather on our 
way, thinking it was better if I carried something that looked like a 
medicine. For a long time afterward I wore it in my hair. 

The morning after the fifth night we came in sight of our camp. I 
sang another medicine song as we drove our horses through the tipis 
and the people came out to watch: "I went by here. The last one was 
the best." 

Everybody greeted us and my name was spoken. Young men came 
to my tipi at night to ask to join my next raid. But I was afraid to 
let them without the consent of their parents or the medicine men. 
I had no relatives and as long as I took only one or two friends noth- 
ing was said. The old medicine men would shake their heads and say 
something bad would happen, but that "was my worry. 

As usual camp life grew tiresome. Piegan had been staying at an- 
other camp and when I met him again I asked him to join me on a 
raid for horses. We made preparations and some days later headed 
north with two other friends. Since we were on foot and had to keep 
hunting for food it took us about seventeen days to reach the Great 
Falls of Big River. 

The sun was almost down when we arrived at the foot of what we 
call Rattle Mountain. Since we were close to enemy country we 
climbed a hill to look out. The Deer River ran in front of us, and 
some distance north, at the foot of the Belt Mountains, was a large 
Blackfeet camp. 3 

After dark we forded the river, found a trail leading up the cliff 
bank, and carefully approached their camp. There was a bright moon 
and we found their horses. I told Piegan and another man to try to 
capture some but warned them first to be sure no guards were near. 

They disappeared into the shadows and we waited. Soon we heard 
barking dogs and shouts. People were lighting torches and running 
for their horses. As Piegan and the other man ran into sight they 
yelled for us to get away. Running for the river we could not find 
the trail down and jumped off the cliff. We dropped our robes and 
extra moccasins and waded until we could swim. When we were 
nearly across they appeared on the cliff and began shooting. Little 
spurts of water popped up but we reached the other side and ran for 
the cottonwoods. By the time they had crossed we were hidden. 

We doubled back and waded for a long time in the shallows. We 


were lucky that clouds had covered the moon. The first part of the 
night we could hear men looking for us but by dawn they had gone. 
All the next day we hid on an island. They must have thought we 
had headed home and were searching in that direction. At nightfall we 
left, careful to make it a long journey away from usual trails. When 
we walked into our camp on the Musselshell many days later, there 
were no victory songs. 


Chapter Fourteen 

Sees The Living Bull was also called Goes Around All The Time 

and Bull That Goes Hunting. As a boy helping his mother butcher a 

buffalo he had pointed to the animal? $ penis, 'which she had just 

tossed into the river. An alert older man, either out of the 

characteristically Crow ribald sense of humor or because he saw 

some spiritual significance in the act, had named the boy Looks At 

A Bull's Penis, which Wildschut taste-fully rendered as Sees 

The Living Bull. 

Born sometime between 1852 and 2820, he 

led eleven successful war parties, was five times wounded, and 

once rescued six injured tribesmen. His clan affiliation, 

Whistling Waters, was the same as Two Leggings* -father, 

placing him already in a close relationship with the boy. 

However, he was only Medicine Crow's stepfather, having married 
his own dead brother's widow when she was pregnant with Medicine 
Crow, a common practice. Like Two Leggings, Sees The Living Bull 

had seen this wife in an early vision. 

In the -fall of 1875, when General Gibbon was recruiting Crow 

scouts, Sees The Living Bull brought in the largest Crow 

contingent, but def 'erred to Chief Sits In The Middle Of The 

Land for leadership. 

Sees The Living Bull's treasury of Crow 

legends was preserved in 1902, when he was his tribe's second 

oldest member. Transcribed by S. C. Simms of Chicago' 's Field 

Museum, they constitute the first publication of Crow mythology. 

IN THOSE DAYS I had many unsuccessful raids because I thought I 
could do everything just like the older and wiser men. I even failed 
in my first attempt to marry. 


After my return from that trip to Deer River it was chokecherry- 
picking time and we moved to the Bighorn Mountains, camping 
briefly at the mouth of Black Canyon. Then we crossed the moun- 
tains into what is now Wyoming. The buffalo fur was long and thick 
and every day we went hunting for new robes, trailing after the herds 
and finally camping near the present town of Cody. 

One fine day in leaf -falling moon while we were still at this place, 
the young men took out their drums and invited all the girls to a 
dance. I wanted to ride before the girls in fine clothes and tell the 
brave things I had done, so I cut a pair of leggings from a red blanket 
and added long fringes. Then I made a coup stick, tied many eagle 
feathers to it, and fixed my long human hair attachment to my 
head. 1 

I rode my large gray horse to the dance ground, intending to 
choose a woman and have my own tipi. As I rode along the row of 
girls dancing to the men singing behind them I tried to pick one. 
When Chief White On The Side Of His Head came out of his tipi 
he sang a praise song and told everyone to look at me because I had 
proved myself brave even though I was young. Some day, he said, 
if the Great Above Person let me live, and when he and the other old 
men were in the Other Side Camp, I would be their chief. 

I rode by one girl and laid my coup stick on her left shoulder. If 
she kept it there it meant she was willing to be my woman. But she 
knocked it off, although the other girls told her not to. Everyone saw 
her refuse me and I was unhappy as I rode back to my brother's tipi. 

For a while I stayed at home. Camp moved to the banks of the 
Musselshell River and then it was decided to visit the Black Lodges, 
camped along Big River. On the way I joined the hunting for robes 
and meat in order to forget about war parties. Sometimes I visited 
girls and thought of marrying, but I did not ask anyone seriously. 

I was staying with friends because my brother had already gone 
ahead to the Black Lodges. But camp moved too slowly and three 
friends and I left also. I led a big bay horse captured from the Sioux 
as a gift for my brother. 

On our way we had to swim the Big River. To keep our cloth- 
ing, guns, and ammunition dry we built a small boat of four strong 
willow branches and rawhide, keeping the center of the hide stiff 
with the willows and fastening the four corners together in the shape 
of a bottle neck. We placed two stones in a fold at the bottom to 
hold it upright. Then we attached two buckskin thongs, held their 


ends tightly in our teeth, and pulled it across with a pole under one 
arm for support. 2 

At the Black Lodge camp I rode straight to my brother's tipi. I was 
sad that evening and we talked late into the night. He wanted to 
know what had happened and I described that last unlucky war party. 
Also I told him about my dream but said that I had not been able to 
capture as many horses as I had seen. However, I added that my vi- 
sion had been unclear about the proper time for these raids. 

When he asked if I had talked with any medicine men I said they 
wanted me to wait until the next spring and even the spring after the 
next winter. I said that he knew I could not hope to be a pipeholder 
if I spent all my days in camp. 

He advised me to follow their advice because they had lived longer 
and understood dreams and visions. He told me not to be so ambitious 
and to wait for the proper time. Our talk did not satisfy me. 

Medicine Crow and 1 had become close friends and spent many 
evenings in his father's tipi. One night while camped along the Mus- 
selshell he and I returned late from a buffalo hunt and I was invited 
to his tipi. After our meal we smoked, and Sees The Living Bull listened 
to our description of the day's kill. Talking about a wounded bull 
which had almost gored me, I mentioned that my medicine had been 
with me when Medicine Crow shot it. Then Sees The Living Bull told 
his son that he remembered we had fasted together on Where The 
Thunderbird Sits Down Mountain, but that he had never heard about 
his son's vision. 

When Medicine Crow said he had not received anything but that 
I had dreamt a great vision, Sees The Living Bull was interested. 

He was a kind and well-known man and I trusted him. I told him 
all I had seen and also what had appeared during my earlier fasts. 

When I finished he said he believed me but that I had not seen any- 
thing great. He said that our guard in the sky, called The White Man 
Of The Sky or Great Above Person, did everything for us. If I had re- 
ceived my dreams from him my medicine would be powerful and 
I would always have good luck. But he said mine had come from one 
of his many helpers without his knowledge and was not powerful. 
He advised me to stay at home because I would have bad luck if I 
left again. 

Medicine Crow mentioned that the ground in front of the horses 
had been covered with snow and that I thought this meant I should 
go out this season. 


The tipi door was raised and White Around The Edges entered, 
a medicine man even older than Sees The Living Bull. They both 
began questioning us and asking for more details of my dream. Finally 
White Around The Edges said that those horses were on the other 
side of the snow which meant that I must wait until after this winter 
when the snow had melted. When he asked which side of the moun- 
tains the horses had been on I remembered lying with my back to the 
east and them to my left. Then he asked whether there had been any- 
thing on top of the snow. When I said no, he advised me to stay in 
camp this winter, to hunt if I had to go out, and not only to wait 
after this winter but until the following one. Before then, he said, I 
was sure to have bad luck. As I thought of the boredom ahead I be- 
came very unhappy and left the tipi. 

Shortly after our talk I bought a new gun which worked with a 
lever. Twins had carried it on a raid but was unable to make it shoot 
and had traded it to me for very little. Eight cartridges could be 
loaded at one time and then it shot eight times in a row. Taking it 
to the trader at the head of Plum Creek, 3 I traded a buffalo robe for 
twenty shells and made a buckskin bag to hold them. 

Now I could shoot so fast there was no reason to be afraid. I 
wanted to try the gun out on enemies and kept thinking those horses 
ought to be mine no matter what the two medicine men had said. 

Leaf-falling moon had passed and ice lined the river banks. I had 
to go out, and asked Young Mountain to join me on a trip to the 
Piegan country. First I visited the trader for more shells and when 
he showed ine a cartridge belt I traded a buffalo robe for it. 

My gun and belt were admired in camp. The guns cost fifty buifalo 
robes each but that did not stop many from buying them. I had not 
yet made a real medicine but carried a hawk like the one in my dream. 
Two boys joined us, and one cold dawn we headed north and west 
for the Piegan country. After sleeping four times we reached the 
Crooked River where it makes a big bend. We had to cross twice 
and the water was very cold. But we built a fire to warm ourselves 
and felt better as we rode on. 

I sent one man to scout ahead, but we saw no enemies or even their 
tracks and arrived at Loud Sounding River, close to the present Pie- 
gan agency. After crossing it we were about to ride on when we saw 
a howling wolf. Young Mountain said that maybe it was telling us 

of enemies close by. Although we could not understand the wolf we 
led our horses into some brush in a coulee. 

We saw nothing strange but the wolf walked closer, still howling. 
As it called to us we grew frightened and whipped our horses to- 
ward the head of the coulee. Finally we dismounted near a hill and 
crawled to the edge. Still we saw no enemies and the game seemed 
undisturbed. But we stayed on the hilltop until sundown when I de- 
cided to move to a higher hill. I was not afraid but felt responsible 
for the men we had brought. 

In the lead with my gun and telescope, I was near the top when 
a boy yelled out that people were coming. I saw Piegans running 
around the hill and knew why that wolf had called. Shouting for the 
boys to run I dismounted and started shooting. Bullets hit all around 
but I dodged them. When a Piegan shot an arrow at me I shot him 
off his horse. 

Young Mountain had left with the boys but when he saw me sur- 
rounded he came back. Lying flat on the ground I shot a Piegan's 
horse in the hindquarters. When it fell the rider ran off. Young 
Mountain had returned with my speckled white horse. As the Piegans 
emptied their guns and retreated we chased them. I shot one off his 
horse and then shot him again on the ground. When they had re- 
loaded they came back singing medicine songs. Feeling a sting in my 
arm I saw blood on my shirt. We fell back but as soon as they had 
emptied their guns we chased them again. 

Then a man rode to a hilltop and signalled with his blanket. I called 
to Young Mountain that their camp must be close and that my arm 
was no good. He yelled back that he was shot in the hip. It did not 
matter if we died but we had to help those two boys. As I turned 
my horse was shot. It stumbled and after I dismounted, it fell over. 

When the Piegans rushed me I jumped on a Piegan horse I had 
picked up earlier in the fight and had tied to my other horse. My left 
arm was useless and my shells were almost gone. 

Occasionally we stopped to shoot, making sign language for them 
to go back before we killed them. They were afraid of our repeating 
rifles and hung back. When we picked up the two boys who were 
waiting for us I told them to run for their horses while we protected 
them. I told them not to stop even if we were caught by the Piegans. 

Another Piegan was signalling with a blanket for help. Young 
Mountain and I led our horses up a steep hill and then rode down a 


creek running through a coulee with thick brash on either side. By 
the time the Piegans had gathered on the hilltop we were on our way 

Again we caught up with the two boys and began a ride which 
continued through the night and into the next day. When we arrived 
at Crooked River that sunset, Young Mountain wanted to rest be- 
cause he was worried the water would get into our wounds. But I 
said they would not cross at night and we would be safe on the other 

Making a skin float we put our clothes and ammunition inside and 
pulled it across with thongs held in our teeth. The two boys swam 
ahead with our horses. When we touched bottom and crawled up the 
bank we were exhausted and freezing. After warming ourselves over 
a fire, I had the boys find an old buffalo skull, knock off its horn, and 
bring us some water. We drank but went to sleep with nothing to 
eat. Before dawn we were riding again, crossing Muddy Creek and 
riding down Plum Creek to our village. 

When I walked into my brother's dpi he said if I kept this up I 
would surely be killed. Although I was now a man, he said, I was still 
alone and should marry and have my own tipi. He did not know my 
first vision had shown me my wife. Whenever I saw a woman who 
looked like her I asked her name, but it was never the same and I 
remained unmarried. 

Although I still would not listen I also felt I should stay home. If 
I had more bad luck no one would ever join me. 

During that winter I joined eight men from the Black Lodges on 
a visit to the Many Lodges on the Musselshell River near the present 
town of Slayton. We hunted with that camp and then visited another 
camp on Fly Creek near Elk River. Although war parties were occa- 
sionally organized I remained in camp. 

One day hunting along the Musselshell we saw some Crows rid- 
ing toward us. They were the people from Fly Creek coming to visit 
the Many Lodges. 

Sees The Living Bull was among them. When he called me over 
I could see he was displeased. He said he had wanted me to wait at 
least until the snow was off the ground. If I continued this way my 
vision man would grow angry and take away his protection. I listened 
to his warnings but hearing the returning warriors announce their 
coups made me very restless. 

Then a raiding party returned with stolen horses, but one of its 


members, Beaver, had been killed near Warm Water by enemies who 
had pursued them. When Sees The Living Bull saw me next he said 
he knew how it felt to listen to the stories and see the captured 
horses, but reminded me that I did not want to be killed like Beaver. 
He said this for my own good. I was his son's partner and he liked 
me. Still I hated this quiet life. After hunting buffalo until I grew 
bored, I would often sit alone on some high ridge and think about 
the honors a man could win. 


Chapter Fifteen 

It was natural that Two Leggings would relate the one Sun Dance 

in which he participated; it is not surprising that -from a spectator's 

vantage point he would here recall White On The Neck's fiasco. 

The event burned itself into most Crow memories, for it actually 

left eleven men and one woman scalped in its wake. 

In another version White On The Neck only tore off his Sun 

Dance paraphernalia and rushed -for water before receiving his 

vision. Since he was the pledger this was sacrilege and caused the 

disastrous subsequent events. Plenty Coups, who gave Wilds chut a 

third version of the aftermath, said the bundle was thereafter 

discarded. But in 1915 the doll was collected by Robert Lowie 

for the American Museum of Natural History. 

Although the Department of the Interior did 

not officially ban the Sun Dance until 1904, its vengeance 

motivation among the Crow caused its extinction as soon as the 

intertribal raiding was curtailed; the last dance was held 

about 1875 in the vicinity of their Rosebud Creek agency. 

However, in 1942, a variety which omitted 

the self-torture was brought to the Crow reservation from the 

Wind River Shoshonis and is still performed each 


NOT LONG after my return from the Plegan country we moved to 
Big River. One day a miserable-looking man rode toward our camp 
and we recognized White On The Neck. Two moons earlier the 
Sioux had raided his village and killed his younger brother. Since 

then he had been mourning and sleeping In the hills. He told us that 
just before he had wandered into our village a vision had instructed 
him to give a Sun Dance. After our chief brought the people together 
White On The Neck stood before us, faced the sun, and said that the 
Sioux had killed his brother and now he wanted to sacrifice to the 
sun which was his grandfather through the ceremony of the Sun 

Then scouts reported buffalo moving toward Elk River. We broke 
camp and moved as far as the mouth of the Bighorn. But hunting was 
poor and when we heard of herds roaming in the valley we traveled 
up river, striking camp near the present town of Hardin. 

Grass-growing season had nearly come. When our chief had the 
camp crier tell the hunters to bring in the tongues of all buffalo killed, 
we knew that preparations for the Sun Dance had begun. As the 
tongues came in, White On The Neck gave ten to each of his helpers. 
The Sun Dance lodge was to be erected farther up river where Medi- 
cine Bear now lives because the cottonwood trees there made good 
Sun Dance poles. Our entire village moved to this place. 

It was difficult to find the virtuous woman to serve as tree notcher 
because many eligible women would not accept the honor. A cooked 
buffalo tongue with a stick run through it was carried from tipi to 
tipi until Getting A Sword accepted. The whole camp was present 
as she walked out of her tipi, carrying the tongue to the center of 
the village and facing the sun. Raising her right hand over her head 
she said that the sun up there knew that her husband Onion had bought 
her in the honorable way and that no man had ever dishonored her. 
After her prayer she walked back to her tipi and was allowed to eat 
the buffalo tongue. 

That evening the camp crier announced the name of the virtuous 
woman who had accepted the tongue and said that the other prepara- 
tions would continue the following morning. 

A fresh buffalo hide was next needed. This was always difficult 
because the appointed hunter had to kill the animal with a single 
arrow which could not make a second hole in the skin. If that hap- 
pened the carcass would be abandoned and he would chase another. 

Bull Shield was hunter, Bull Water and someone else the butchers, 
and Shows His Face was the fourth man. 

That evening they entered a special tipi and Shows His Face 
scratched a buffalo track on the earth floor and faced the direction 
where they expected to find buffalo. All held buffalo-hide rattles in 

their right hands as they sang this buffalo song: "Buffalo is coming." 

Then they sat behind the buffalo track, faced where it led, and 
sang the buffalo-calling songs until dawn, with some intervals when 
they went outside to smoke. No one else was allowed in. Long be- 
fore dawn some of our oldest scouts left camp, each painted with 
white clay and wearing a wolfskin cap. It was not yet sunrise when 
we heard their wolf howls telling us they had sighted buffalo. The 
whole camp cheered this good news. 

Bull Shield carried only two arrows as he and his butchers rode 
out, leading their best buffalo horses. They had not gone far when 
they saw three buffalo walking towards them. Switching to their 
buffalo horses, Bull Shield rode up with his butchers close behind. 
His medicine was powerful that day; his arrow went into the back 
as far as the feather. Blood ran from the buffalo's nose and mouth 
and it began staggering. Now each butcher had to tie one eagle 
feather to the buffalo's head-hair before it fell. This was the most 
difficult part, but it was done. 

Instead of skinning from the belly up they worked from the back 
down, carefully taking out all the bones and packing them on the 
horses together with the heart, the liver, the kidneys, part of the in- 
testines, and a little meat. 

Our scouts had been on the lookout and raced back as soon as they 
saw the hunter and butchers returning. Bull Shield and the other two 
men were not supposed to ride slowly; they galloped hard through 
the village to the tipi where White On The Neck was waiting. The 
entire camp was there and received them with shouting and songs. 
Their horses were held by the underlip but they could not dismount 
until the meat, bones, and hide had been unpacked. 

White On The Neck had covered his hands with white clay. His 
cheeks were painted black for revenge and he held a knife painted 
with a mixture of charcoal and buffalo grease. He cut the meat into 
very small pieces, giving one to everyone. After singing four songs 
he cut the buffalo hide in half and the ceremony was over for that 

The next morning Getting A Sword * was placed on a horse and 
given the stone maul and the longest prong from an elk antler. We 
were all dressed in our finest clothes and followed on foot as her 
horse walked to a selected tree with four black rings painted around 
it. We all sang four songs and after each one she pretended to hit the 
prong with her stone maul. When she really hit it the last time we 

yelled and fired off our guns. This tree and ten others were cut down 
by some of the tribe's hermaphrodites. 2 Then all the young men 
tied ropes to the heavy poles, mounted their horses, and dragged 
them to the lodge site, each riding double with a girl. Before they 
started some of the bravest men were put on the poles. Presents were 
given to their relatives because it was considered something of a dis- 
grace to ride these poles. As soon as they could the men jumped off. 3 

A large woodpile had been gathered at the lodge's center. Three 
of the heavy poles were laid over it and tied near their tops with 
thongs cut from the hide Bull Shield had skinned. One was placed 
toward the north, another south, and a third west. The east was al- 
ways left open, like the wide opening in the camp circle, and no one 
could pass through there. 

A medicine man had to climb the center pole but only one who had 
dreamt of eagles could do this. They were hard to find. A pipe was 
carried around camp and offered to the eligible men, but none ac- 
cepted. At last Hair Wolf made it known that if the pipe were brought 
to him he would take it. We did not know he had dreamt of eagles 
but he was given the pipe and led to a special tipi some distance from 
the western pole and in direct line with it. He was given four presents 
and while inside he painted his entire body red. We could hear him 
singing his medicine songs. When he came out he was wrapped in 
a big buffalo robe fastened with an eagle-feather quill. He was also 
carrying an eagle-feather fan in each hand, and an eagle-bone whis- 
tle hung from his neck. As he drew near the western pole he sang 
and moved the fans like the wings on a flying eagle: "I am a bird, 
coming from the clouds." 

After the first song he shopped and blew his whistle, imitating the 
flying eagle again. Four times he did this until he stood before the 
pole, whistling and waving the fans. We watched intently as he be- 
gan walking up the pole. If he fell, bad luck would come into our 
camp. I do not know how he kept his balance but he arrived safely 
where they were all tied together and sat down. Now when he whis- 
tled and moved his arms, we all shouted at the top of our voices. 

Holes had been dug for the butt ends of the three poles and we all 
rushed up to raise them in place with the help of several long tipi 
poles tied two and two with rawhide. Hair Wolf sat where they all 
crossed, like a bird in a nest. We laid the resting poles in place and 
interlaced them with willow branches. 

All the pipeholders had painted themselves according to their vi- 

sions and were in full dress, wearing their medicines and each carry- 
ing a rope and whistle. All together they ran toward the Sun Dance 
lodge, stopping four times until they arrived at the eastern entrance. 

Some of the spectators were singing and others dancing. We 
watched the pipeholders run around the lodge and then stare at the 
top. Someone called for silence. A pipeholder yelled that he saw a 
scalp hanging up there. Another yelled that he saw a horse. Other 
things were seen by the pipeholders. This way they gave their dreams 
to the men who were to dance in the days ahead. They knew that 
those dreams would be seen again by one of the dancers and would 
aid the revenge. 

The Sun Dance started the next day. All the dancers assembled near 
the lodge and the women brought buckskin thongs painted with 
white clay. A small pine tree the height of a man had been set inside 
the lodge. A Sun Dance doll fastened to a willow hoop was tied to 
the tree's top facing east. Seven eagle feathers in a fan shape hung 
from the hoop. 

Then the dancers entered the lodge, each carrying a whistle, a 
skunkskin around his neck, and an eagle plume fastened to the back 
of his head. The medicine men tied white thongs to the skewers 
piercing the dancers' breasts and attached the other ends to posts 
planted inside the lodge. White On The Neck stood in front of the 
lodge, but did not enter until after the first song. Then he stood be- 
tween the two piles of white clay, a Sun Dance hair lock tied to the 
back of his head. He wore a buckskin dress around his waist, car- 
ried an eagle-bone whistle, and had one eagle plume attached to each 
of his little fingers. He also wore a skunkskin around his neck, painted 
with white clay. 

When the drummers one a woman took their places inside and 
began the second song, White On The Neck looked at the doll for 
the first time: "The one you want to dance with is here now." 

White On The Neck sang with them and began dancing up to the 
doll and then back away, blowing his whistle and staring at the doll. 
When the song was over we all yelled and clapped our hands to our 
mouths, and then it was sung again. The singing and dancing lasted 
late into the night until the leader halted it and helped White On 
The Neck lie down between his two white clay piles. He covered 
him with a blanket and we all went home for a short rest. 

The crier woke everyone early and after eating we returned to the 
Sun Dance lodge. It was very hot and I heard that White On The 

Neck was not dancing well and that his whistling was weak. Later 
I noticed that he had to be forced to dance. Perspiration was pouring 
down his body and many times he almost fell. Suddenly he ran toward 
the tree, tore off the doll with both hands, and fainted. 

Everyone was alarmed. Water was brought to wake him and the 
leader told him that we were holding this Sun Dance because his 
brother had been killed. Everyone had been willing to help him, but 
he said that White On The Neck had done a great wrong and now 
some of us would be killed. 

That same day we broke camp and moved to what is now called 
Two Leggings Creek, camping near the spring a few miles from its 
mouth. Moving every day for the next three days, we went to Woody 
Creek, then to Dipper Creek, and on the third day crossed the Big- 
horn River and camped on Rotten Grass Creek. During the night 
Sioux stole some of our horses and I joined a party following their 
trail over the high hills east of Rotten Grass. Some of our men caught 
up with part of the Sioux at Big Shoulder Creek, killing one there 
and another on the ridge top. 

Before they reached the Little Bighorn River we killed another 
Sioux, and a fourth was killed as he swam across. On the other side 
they separated, some riding east and the rest following the river 
downstream. We went downstream but did not catch up until they 
reached the location of the present Crow agency. Then we could 
see their warbonnets and medicines. One Sioux fired his six-shooter 
and the bullet passed over my head. I heard yells that more were 
coming and saw a large band across the river. Turning our horses 
we raced for the foothills where our main party was signalling. 

As we joined them we saw two other Sioux driving some of our 
horses stolen the night before. When they tried to escape we no- 
ticed that one was a woman. One Fingered Bear was just ahead of 
me and we both chased them. The woman's horse was tired out and 
she cried to the man, but he did not seem to hear. Then One Fingered 
Bear shot her. The main group of Sioux rode to help the man with 
the horses. Most of our horses were exhausted and several men were 
on foot, but mine was long-winded. Waving my gun at the remain- 
ing Sioux, I made signs telling them to come closer. Then the stolen 
herd ran by me and I saw a beautiful gray with split ears and a Sioux 
shield hanging from the saddle. Driving my horse into the bunch, I 
changed mounts and led my own. 

A little later we all came together and found the stolen horses on 


a hill where the Sioux had abandoned them. Those of us still mounted 
rounded them up. 

Riding back we kept in a tight group because the Sioux seemed 
everywhere. We traveled slowly to the Bighorn River, making camp 
for the night across from the mouth of Two Leggings Creek. Through 
the next day we rested our horses often because they were still tired 
from the day before. Late that night, as we approached our village, 
we heard people crying and singing the death song. 

We were told that the morning before some Sioux had stayed be- 
hind; once we had left they had shot eleven men leaving camp to join 
us. White On The Neck's breaking of the rules had caused this. 

But he was not driven from the tribe. After a year of not partici- 
pating in any ceremonies or dances or joining any raiding parties he 
began to live a normal life. Several years later he led a raid against 
the Sioux, returning with a large number of horses and several scalps. 
After that no one mentioned the other thing again. 


Chaffer Sixteen 

When the Crow chiefs, or 

"good men" thought a marts dream outstanding they might 

< him to lead the camp through -four trial moves. If 

he found enough food and pastur eland, if 'war -parties returned 

with horses and no casualties, and if the camp were not raided, 

he joined the council of chiefs. Then the regular 

head chief resumed control. 

The duties of The One Who Owns 

The Camp, or village head chief, were to help the chiefs decide 

when and where his followers should move and pitch their tipis, and 

each spring to appoint the warrior society to police 

the camp. 

In the more common procedure by which 

a man became a chief \ a warrior who had struck the four 

important coups gave presents to an acknowledged chief on four 

different occasions, without divulging his motive. Then, after 

making his request to buy the chiefs medicine bundle or its 

duplicate, he was either accepted or 


Sometimes when the camp was preparing to move 

and the chiefs had met to discuss their dreams, an agreement 

could not be reached over whose to follow. The camp would 

split, and those believing in one chief would leave with 


WE NEVER STATOD where something bad had happened. As soon as 
the eleven men were buried our chiefs led us across the Bighorn 


River at the mouth of Black Canyon, along the foot of the moun- 
tains to Arrow Creek, and then through Hits With The Arrows. 
Finally we camped at the foot of the Buffalo Heart Mountain, close 
to the present town of Cody, a well-known fasting place where many 
important medicine men had received visions. 

When Bull Well Known asked me to fast with him I decided to try 
acrain. After our preparations we climbed to the top, meeting several 
others also fasting. This time I did not torture my flesh and just 
prayed to the Great Above Person. For three days and nights I re- 
ceived no vision, but near daybreak after the fourth night seven people 
walked toward me from the east. First they were on top of a peak in 
the Wolf Mountains. Then I seemed to fall asleep and when I woke 
again they were standing on top of Where The Thunderbird Sits 
Down Mountain where I had fasted before. As they approached they 
began to sing, and a voice said that I was seeing birds. Then I under- 
stood their song: "The birds are coming to me." 

After another victory song they turned north toward the Piegan 
country. They sang again, and turned toward the Sioux country. 
When they faced those directions it meant I should go to those tribes. 
Their songs assured me I would be successful. After this second song 
I woke. Although my dream had been short I had been given two war 

Soon after returning to camp I talked again with Crooked Arm. 
He said my earlier dream was more powerful and wanted me to wait 
until the next snow had fallen and melted before going out. Other- 
wise, he said, I would have bad luck. 

Sees The Living Bull agreed with him. But I still could not refuse 
Bull Does Not Fall Down when he asked me to join him to the Sioux 
country. Seventeen of us followed the foot of the Bighorn Moun- 
tains and by the time we arrived at Tongue River our scouts had 
located the Sioux camp. 

For the rest of that day we hid, and after dark began riding toward 
their village. While seven of us guarded our horses the rest crawled 
into the camp and returned with horses that had been picketed in 
front of the tipis. Although they picked up their own horses and left 
for home, we did not want to return empty-handed and stayed un- 
til the following night. When it was too dark to see, we moved 
quietly into the tipis. Bumping into a horse, I cut it loose and walked 
it to our meeting place. The others were already back and we rode 
into the mountains* As daylight came I saw I had stolen a big bay. 

When we got back to camp we found we had thirty head in all. But 
my bay was in poor condition and never became a good runner. 

We also discovered that Wrinkled Face was missing and his rela- 
tives soon began to mourn. 

Camp moved to the mouth of Red Lodge Creek and ten days after 
that horse-stealing raid Wrinkled Face appeared on a nearby hill. 
After becoming separated from the first returning group he had run 
out of ammunition and had not eaten for several days. His moccasins 
were worn out and he had cut up his leggings to wrap his feet. Until 
this time Wrinkled Face had been poor. But now he became success- 
ful, bringing back several horses on every war party. He had also 
been unfriendly. But after this he grew kind and was liked by every- 
one. Later he told us that during his wandering he had dreamt some- 
thing powerful. 

I planned to stay in camp for the rest of that summer and not take 
any more chances. Our village moved from place to place until it 
was decided to visit the Black Lodges at the foot of Three Mountain 
in the Little Rockies along Big River. 

We had a happy time there. Game was plentiful and enemies 
seemed to be staying away. War parties would occasionally return 
and this gave us more reason for dancing and feasting. Our two camps 
together held several hundred tipis and we had to hunt continually 
for food. We were here for nearly a moon when scouts reported a 
large herd nearby to the north. I needed fresh meat and the follow- 
ing afternoon rode my buffalo horse slowly out of camp, leading a 
pack horse. Usually I rode the pack horse to rest my buffalo runner, 
but I did not think I would be going far. 

No enemies had recently been sighted, but I was accustomed to 
being careful. Before each ridge I dismounted and crawled to the 
edge to cover the country with my telescope. 

Riding into the valley where the herd had been reported, I found 
nothing, I decided that if I did not see any game from a high hill a 
little to the north I would return to camp. It was hot and all the 
dancing and eating of the last days had made me sleepy. Tying my 
horse to a tree, I lay in the shade and watched the sun set. For a time 
I forgot what I was doing. 

Before me the country was very broken; beyond lay a large 
meadow and then came more broken country. As I looked over those 
ridges and coulees I saw something which made my laziness go away. 


A buffalo herd was running out of the broadest coulee. Looking 
through my telescope, I knew no wolf pack could chase that many. 
Soon about six men appeared behind, and from their riding style and 
headgear I could tell they were Flatheads who had crossed the moun- 

I rode into camp as night fell. I should have informed the chief 
right away, but we had nothing to fear from a few Flatheads who 
would have left immediately if they discovered our tipis. I wanted 
to be the first to surprise them, and told only Young Mountain. 

When we set out at sunrise I was on a roan, a good long-distance 
runner, and Young Mountain was riding a buckskin, also long-winded 
and fast. Young Beaver stopped us at the edge of camp, calling me 
brother and saying that I had a better horse. He asked me to kill him 
a nice cow and promised me the fat. 

Young Beaver tried hard to provide for his father and mother but 
his buffalo horse had just been stolen by enemies. I liked him and his 
people, and they were my relatives. I told Young Mountain we would 
hunt before looking for the Flatheads. 

We three started north, where Young Beaver had been told to find 
buffalo. I was sure these were the animals the Flatheads had been 
chasing. On the way we passed a few Crow hunters already butcher- 
ing their kills. When we reached a ridge I dismounted to look over 
the edge. Two Flatheads were chasing buffalo. I ran back to the 
horses and told Young Beaver to warn our hunters and also to alert 
the camp. I said I was going to try to kill one and might be out all 

Young Mountain and I tied our horses and hid behind sage and 
rocks along the ridge. While I looked through my telescope he 
watched the two men below. I could not find the other Flatheads 
but was sure their camp was nearby. Young Mountain pulled my arm; 
the two Flatheads were chasing a few stray buffalo in our direction. 

I looked back but Young Beaver with help was not to be seen. Then 
I noticed someone skinning buffalo south of us. We galloped over, 
recognizing Hunts The Enemy and his long-legged sorrel horse 
stolen from Flatheads. I said that if we killed those two the women 
could dance the scalp dance for us and we could tell our children 
about this coup. But I said that if we were killed it would be a good 
death, for the Great Above Person was looking down to watch our 

Meanwhile Medicine Bear had ridden up on a pinto mare and told 

me that two more men were just over the ridge. When we called to 
them Small Heart appeared on a buckskin and White From The 
Waist Up on a big bay. Returning to the hill we now saw four Flat- 
heads on the other side. I was glad to have collected more men. Then 
several more Flatheads appeared around a pine grove on a faraway 
hilltop. We also noticed that the four below were not the men Young 
Mountain and I had first seen. Those two had wounded a bull, now 
charging them as they rode in circles. They could have easily seen 
us but were too busy. We drew back and Hunts The Enemy and I 
dismounted, handing our horses to our friends. Crawling to the edge 
again, we saw the two hunters about a rifle-shot away. Hunts The 
Enemy said that everything dies sometime and that we should think 
about what we could tell our children and grandchildren if we scalped 
these men. 

We all rode around the hill and into a deep ravine between the 
hunters and their pack horses. As Hunts The Enemy and I watched 
from the rim the others waited below. Finally killing the bull, the 
Flatheads came for their pack horses, one on a white horse and the 
other on a bay, both men about my age but larger than most Flat- 
heads. They wore breechcloths and held guns. Bows and arrows 
hung on their backs, but they carried no medicines. 

As soon as we crawled back all of us galloped out of the ravine. 
The Flatheads reined in so hard one horse almost fell backward. Its 
rider slid off and called for the other man, who was racing down the 
meadow to his friends. 

When the man on the ground fired I tried to pull up, but my horse 
kept running. I felt a pain in my left shoulder and thought I was 
dying. As soon as possible I dismounted and he ran up, in signs calling 
us women. 

He was brave but I did not notice that. Blood soaked through the 
light-colored shirt I had bought from the trader at the mouth of Plum 
Creek. At first I thought it came from my mouth. When I moved, my 
left arm hurt badly. I made signs to the Flathead that he was a woman 
and that I would kill him before I died. 

When he saw me back on my horse he caught his again and I grew 
afraid. I do not know why I felt that way, but I rode back to the 
ravine. Just as I discovered my friends were gone after the other Flat- 
head, a bullet missed my head. I turned and we began riding around 
in circles, hanging to the outside and shooting over or just below 
our horses' necks. Then I heard yelling and was glad to see Bear 


Looks and Hunts The Enemy. But it also made me want to earn this 
coup alone. I reined in and shot from behind my horse. The Flathead 
also dismounted, keeping up his fire as he walked with his horse in 
front of him. When I killed it he laid down, shooting from behind 
the carcass. As I started to ride around him I did not notice that Bear 
Looks was beside me until he fell from his horse, shot through the 
spine. Then I raced straight at the Flathead, but I was out of breath 
and my horse threw its head into my gun as I fired. Before the animal 
dropped I jumped off. The Flathead tried to grab my gun but I shot 
his left hand. He tried again and I shot him in the right side. Drop- 
ping his gun he rushed at me with a knife. I jumped away and he fell 
on the ground. 

I shot my last bullet, but was so excited I hit his left hand again. I 
picked up his knife and gun, grabbed his long hair, and was about to 
scalp him when Hunts The Enemy asked me to help lift Bear Looks 
onto his horse. Then he stopped wailing over the body and pointed 
north. More Flatheads were heading toward us. I let the head fall back 
but told myself I would return. By the time we had Bear Looks' body 
tied to the horse we had to leave. 

My horse was dead and Hunts The Enemy's had run to camp. As 
we reached a rise we saw Flatheads grouped around the man on the 
ground. I felt faint from loss of blood, but would kill some of them 
before I died. I told Hunts The Enemy to give me his gun and car- 
tridges and go on with the body. 

The Flatheads were pointing at me and I could find no hiding place 
so I tried to walk up the hill. Before reaching the top I saw someone 
on a horse. I held my gun but it was White From The Waist Up. As 
we rode double over the top I turned to see the Flatheads catching 

I told White From The Waist Up that if they got too close we 
should dismount and fight. Then he pointed out Young Beaver rid- 
ing with men from camp. We all started shooting as the Flatheads 
rode over the hill. When they spun around to escape, our men raced 
close behind and White From The Waist Up left me. Feeling weak 
and in pain, I started walking back to camp. 

Men riding home stopped to tell me that the news had passed I was 
dead. They were glad to see me alive and wanted to see my wound. 
I rode double into camp. As I passed Bear Looks' tipi I heard his rela- 
tives crying. They buried his body in the brakes along Big River. 

The chiefs decided to move camp early the next morning. All 

night we heard men riding in and singing victory songs. I felt glad 
because it meant they had been successful without losing any more 
men. Hunts The Enemy visited me and said they had revenged Bear 
Looks, returning with three scalps. When I fell asleep I dreamt of a 
scalp dance in which I was the chief. 

(Many years later when we were friends I visited the Flatheads. 
That man told me that when he was on the ground he felt me lift his 
head by the hair, unable to move. He had waited for my knife and 
could not understand what had happened. But he was never able to 
use his left hand.) 

When we arrived at Big River the next day we made rafts for the 
old men, women, and children and for our clothes and provisions, 
each pulled by four men with thongs in their teeth and poles under 
their arms. I could not use my left arm and crossed with the very old 
men. When the swimmers made fun of me, I yanked on their thongs 
and ducked them. 

We reached the southern shore and pitched our tipis on a sloping 
ground covered with big cottonwood trees. By the time the sun was 
in the middle everyone was settled. 

Preparations began for a big dance and the old people called the 
names of different men through the camp. My brother told rne to 
mount up because I had been wounded and had acted bravely and the 
people wanted to see me. 

Painting myself and wearing my best clothes and human-hair 
attachment I mounted my favorite horse and waited until Old Dog, 1 
an old medicine man, came for me. He sang as he led me into the 
circle of the dancers: "I am going to give you a scalp. I am going to 
give you a scalp." 

Then he asked everyone to stop talking. Speaking my name, he 
said I was one of their bravest young men. He told them all to look at 
me and said I would be a chief. From this day on, he said, I would 
not scold any children and would treat aU my people well. 

It was a very happy day for me. I was beginning the ceremonies 
which would finally make me a chief. 

At sunset the dancing stopped and a sweat lodge was built of a 
hundred and four willows, the largest number ever used. I was m my 
tipi when a boy told me that I was invited to this ceremony. Follow- 
ing him I found Sees The Living Bull, Shell On The Neck, and Old 
Dog our leading chiefs and medicine men. The previous day's war- 
riors were also there and in front with me those who had counted 


coups. Sees The Living Bull tied a red blanket to a pole and set it 
up for a sacrifice. Then he prayed to the Great Above Ones, which 
were the sun and moon and stars and all above people in the sky. He 
said that we were offering this blanket, and asked for good luck, long 
life, and successful raids for the warriors gathered here. 

When we all entered a sweat bath the chiefs prayed for us again. 
Afterwards we bathed in the river and then smoked and talked over 
the day before, adding details and remembering the brave things that 
were done. It was early morning when I returned to my tipi. All was 
still and the air was warm. Before going in I looked up at the sky, 
raised my arms, and prayed for all the powerful beings above to look 
at me. I told them I wanted to be a chief. I asked them to give me a 
long life and courage when I was in danger. I asked the moon and 
stars for their help. 

Two days later camp moved to Elk River and although I had begun 
to listen to the older men's advice I was still too young. Parades 
through our village would be accompanied by older men singing 
about our brave warriors, and now I was mentioned in those songs, 
I began thinking about another raid to add more coups to my name. 


Chapter Seventeen 

The Bear Song Dance was one of a handful 

of minor Crow ceremonies. It and the Singing of the Cooked 

Meat a semiannual occasion for rock-medicine owners 

to open their sacred bundles were indigenous. Others, like the 

Medicine Pipe ritual and the Horse Dance, were the products 

of visits with other tribes, usually their Hidatsa kinsmen. 

The Bear Song Dance performers were knit 

together by their ability to produce from their mouths parts 

of a creature or object which had miraculously entered 

their stomachs during a fast. Revealed were elk chips, white clay, 

black dirt, owl feathers, ground moss, snails, eggs, feathers from, 

an eagle's tail, a little human being, and, commonly, parts 

of the bodies of bears and jackrabbits. People owning horses 

would exhibit horse tails; those who could doctor wounds, buffalo 


Usually the dance was held in the fall, when 

the ripe berries caused the bears to dance in the mountains. As 

with the Tobacco society, variations in dreams could give 

birth to a separate chapter. Once, a mourner discovered a nest of 

eggs, subsequently dreamt of them, and then displayed 

them during the next dance. Henceforth, his Wolverine chapter 

was renamed the Egg chapter. 

SOON AFTER OUR BATTLE with the Flat-heads we began moving from 
one place to another. Finally we stopped along the banks of Big 
River near the mouth of Elk River and a Bear Dance was held. 

This dance was usually given by some man or 'woman who had 
dreamt a vision of the Bear Dance. The performers were people with 


special medicine powers, who could make objects come out of their 
mouths and disappear back in and do other things we cannot under- 

The people prepared for this dance by drying a lot of thinly sliced 
meat strips and pounding them into pemmican which they mixed 
with buffalo-leg-bone marrow and dried chokecherries. Then they 
rolled the mixture into different-sized balls which they spread on a 
buckskin and covered. 

I was one of the spectators sitting in a large circle around a pole. 
A bearskin with red-painted claws was tied to the eastern side of 
this pole but it could also be tied to the western. Six or seven singers 
walked into the circle carrying their drums, and sat on one side of 
the cleared area. At a signal they hit their drums, the bear songs began, 
and the dance leader came out of his tipi, his forehead painted red 
with two red stripes drawn from the corners of his eyes down his 
cheeks. He wore a buffalo robe with the fur side out. Four other 
men and a boy followed him, all painted and dressed in the same 
manner. They began dancing in the east, came around the pole to the 
west, and then turned back to the east. They imitated a bear's move- 
ments, holding their hands in front of them with the fingertips pressed 
against the palms, shaking their heads, and stepping like bears on their 
hind legs. 

Now we were all standing, shouting, and clapping our hands to our 
mouths. I was watching the dancers so closely I did not see a young 
woman dance slowly up to the center pole. Suddenly she drew a deep 
breath and blew out a cloud of red paint. Rubbing her face against 
the bearskin she blew more red paint where she had rubbed, doing 
this until she was exhausted. Her relatives held her as she tried to 
dance. Then they made her kneel over some burning sweet grass. 
When she smelled the smoke she stopped blowing the paint. Even her 
hair was covered by paint the wind had blown back on her. Her 
relatives wrapped a blanket around her and led her away, giving her 
some of the balls of meat. 

In the meantime the singers continued their songs and the dancers 
moved around the pole. A man came out of his tipi wearing an otter- 
skin headband and with a broad red stripe across his face. As he sang 
a Bear Dance song, he danced toward the pole. People yelled that 
this was Buffalo Lump, a powerful medicine man who could shoot a 
gun without a shell. Coming closer, he called for us to spread out 

We laid down several and crowded around as he walked up to the 
bearskin, rubbed his face against it, and returned to the robes. As he 
leaned forward a stream of bullets rolled out of his mouth, many 
more than any man could hold. He told us who liked hunting to take 
one, and four men did. Buffalo Lump said that was enough and picked 
up the rest, swallowing one after another. He asked for water and 
after drinking some poured a little on his head. Then he ate some of 
the meat balls. 

The singers began again and everyone shouted when Flesh came 
from the camp with a robe over his head. He was known to be so 
fond of horses that he spent most of his time with them. After dancing 
around the pole he rubbed his face against the bearskin and turned 
to us. Something seemed to be filling his open mouth. Hair appeared 
and we saw a colt's tail come out until it seemed full-length. His 
relatives quickly made a sweet-grass smudge, holding him over it and 
raising his arms above his head. Each time they did that the tail went 
back and finally it was gone. He drank some water, a little was spilled 
on his head, and he ate some of the special meat. 

I could never understand all this and believe the Bear society mem- 
bers were great medicine people. 

Then Small Sun had it announced that if all the war parties the next 
winter season returned successfully he would give a Bear Dance the 
following spring. 

That next spring season a pole was planted where Chief Bell Rock 
now lives, and a bearskin was tied to it. When we were all gathered, 
Small Sun said that last snow season Rides The White Horse had 
brought in many horses and Cottonwood Tree had done the same. He 
said that Head Of A Man had returned successfully with his men and 
that Sits In The Middle Of The Land, robbed of his horses one night 
while camped along the Musselshell River, had followed the Piegans, 
bringing back the stolen horses and many more besides. He had also 
returned with the scalps of two men he had killed. Small Sun said that 
we had enjoyed good luck and that he was giving this Bear Dance as 
he had promised. 

This ceremony was like the last with the four men and the boy 
coming in, dancing and singing as they circled the pole. Then the 
individual dancers entered and I remember Lots Of Bear throwing 
back his head and blowing out a bunch of bulrushes. Some fell among 
the crowd and people grabbed them for their medicine bundles. 

One young man said he had nothing inside him but would do some- 


thing else. He scraped up dirt from the ground, mixed it with water, 
and roiled it into small soft balls. After closing his hands over the balls 
and rubbing them he opened his palms to show beads which he gave 
to the women. 

Not long after Small Sun's Bear Dance, time came for berry-picking 
and camp moved in slow stages toward the mountains. Scouts searched 
in all directions for chokecherry bushes and plurn trees, finally find- 
ing both along Woody Creek. A camping place was selected and 
parties of men, women, and children set out each day. The older 
women pounded the berries into pulp which they formed into peglike 
shapes and placed on blankets to dry in the sun. Later these were 
stored in parfleches for the winter. 

The warriors hunted for game and scouted to protect the berry- 
pickers. At night we kept guards around the camp, especially near 
our grazing horses. 

Bull Does Not Fall Down usually joined me on these hunts and 
scouting duties. As game grew scarce because of the constant hunting 
we decided to take a longer hunt of a few days. Riding east, we 
crossed the Bighorn River, and began hunting in the broken country 
toward the Little Bighorn River. 

In what the white people call Devils Pocket near the Little Bighorn 
we found a large deer with big antlers. We shot at the same time and 
it fell into a dead pine tree. Bull Does Not Fall Down told me to drag 
it out of the branches. When I grabbed a hind leg I saw it was only 
stunned by having a horn shot off. I had left my rifle with my horse 
so I sat on its back to stab its heart. Suddenly the deer got to its feet 
and began bucking down the slope. We rushed by Bull Does Not Fall 
Down but he was laughing too hard to hold his gun. At the foot of 
the hill the deer gave a long leap and I was thrown on some boulders, 
the wind knocked out of me. The deer turned on me but missed be- 
cause one antler hit the ground before the broken one could stick 
me. Then it cut my face with its hooves and ran off. Bull Does Not 
Fall Down wanted to follow and finally we killed it, packing the meat 

Around that time there was much dancing and celebrating in camp 
and we flirted a lot with the girls. Crooked Arm often advised me to 
marry and I felt that my own home would be a great advantage. 
I had been feeling close to one girl and sent Young Mountain with 
presents to her father. This time I was not refused and a few days 
later started life in my own tipi. 

Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation 

Two Leggings in 1919, wearing his pipeholder's war shirt hung with ermine 
skins and decorated with beaded strips over the shoulders and down the 

Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation 

Above: Sees The Living Bull. After Two Leggings 
earned his trust, the famous medicine man adopted 
him and gave him dreams to guide his raids for horses 
and scalps. 

Right, above: In 1871 William H. Jackson photo- 
graphed the last of the Crow buffalo-hide tipis, pitched 
along the Yellowstone River. 

Right: At the Crows' first agency near Livingston, 
Montana, Jackson photographed Sits In The Middle 
Of The Land (second from right), signer of the 1868 
treaty and head chief of the Mountain Crows during 
much of Two Leggings'* early life. With him are 
(left to right) Poor Elk, Long Ears, Shows His Face, 
and Old Onion. 

Smithsonian Office of Anthropology, Bureau of American Ethnology Collection 

Smithsonian Office of Anthropology, Bitreau of American Ethnology Collection 

4 Smithsonian Office of Anthropology, Bureau of American Ethnology Collection 

Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation 

Most concerned of the "Wise Ones" 'who tried to control Two Leggings' 
young ambition were Two Belly (left, top) and Crooked Arm (left, bot- 
tom). Photographed during an 1879 Crow delegation's Washington visit, 
Two Belly's hair style reveals that he was in mourning at the time. 

Below:. In 1872 the first Crow treaty delegation rode horseback from cen- 
tral Montana to Salt Lake City before taking the train to Washington. 
Among its members were Wolf Bear (far left, seated), who joined Two 
Leggings on a raid to uphold the honor of their warrior society, Long 
Horse (far left, top), Sits In The Middle Of The Land (seated, third from 
left), Iron Bull (seated, fourth from left), Old Dog (seated, fifth from 
left), and their Indian agent, Fellows D. Pease (standing, fifth from left). 

Smithsonian Office of Anthropology, Biireau of American Ethnology Collection 

As partners on his early, clan- 
destine raids, Two Leggings 
chose Bull Does Not Fall Down 
(left) and Medicine Crow (cen- 
ter) because he trusted their 
courage and confidence. His 
brief term as a cottrier for the 
United States Government 
shortly after the Custer massacre 
was shared by Spotted Horse 

Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation 

Two Leggings' first war medicine bundle was made by Weasel Moccasin, 
then passed -to Two Leggings' brother, Wolf Chaser. It contained, left to 
right, (/) blue cloth , meaning good luck, (2) herb bag to renew horse's 
wind, (5) eagle's head which tied to chest imparted that bird's powers of 
flight, vision, and noiseless approach, (4) eagle plume tied to horse mean- 
ing swiftness, (y) porcupine-quill-wrapped feathers meaning same as eagle's 
head, (6) swallow for power to evade enemies, (7) otter-skin and eagle- 
claw sash -for eagle's ability to pounce on enemy, (8) bear's hair and claws 
to keep horse fat and prime. 

Smithsonian Office of Anthropology, Bureau of American Ethnology Collection 

Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation 

American Museum of Natural History 

American Museum of Natural History 

Girl on horse (above) is 
about to be initiated into the 
Crow Tobacco Society. The 
adoption procession, women 
forward and men drummers 
and singers behind, will halt 
its dancing four times before 
arriving at a special adoption 

Frame of Tobacco Society 
adoption lodge. The original 
Crow Sun Dance lodge was 
of similar design but required 
twenty poles instead of ten. 
While the Tobacco Society 
lodge had a wide belt of hides 
for shade, the Sun Dance 
lodge was covered waist-high 
with brush. 

Right: Anthropologist 
Robert Lowie purchased 
the very doll njohic.h Two 
Leggings saw White On 
The Neck tear down dur- 
ing his Sun Dance, the 
sacrilegious act with tragic 
consequences for the 

Right below: Two Leg- 
gings bought the Sun 
Dance bundle, together 
( with this doll, which had 
been used during his first 
Sun Dance. Lines under 
the doirs eyes imitate a 
screech o r uoVs markings 
and represent visionary 
powers. Marks to one side 
of central blue stripe 
the sky mean old peo- 
ple's wrinkles, granting 
the owner long life. Those 
to the other side represent 
fog. Around the neck in- 
distinguishable black dots 
mean hail and rain; the 
owner could call down a 
sudden shower between 
himself and enemy pur- 

American Museum of Natural History 

Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation 

Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation 

Two Leggings' Sun Dance 
bundle also contained (/) 
buffalo-hide rattle with its 
painted face representing 
the sacred being who had 
shown the bundle's origi- 
nator a vision of the Sun 
Dance doll, (2) hair-lock 
attachment symbolizing 
fog which could magically 
descend to protect a raid- 
Ing party, (3) whistle fash- 
ioned from eagle's wing- 
bone, (4) deerskin kilt, ($) 
skunkskin necklace rubbed 
with white clay and hung 
with owl feathers, (6) 
rawhide container which 
held all these items. 

Personal rivalries <were not 
uncommon when young 
Crows were driven to ex- 
cel in their earning of 
war honors. After Big 
Shoulder (top) neglected 
to give Two Leggings the 
honor of leading a revenge 
raid, the two kept a cool 
distance. On another war 
party , bristling under the 
overbearing commands of 
Hunts The Enemy (bot- 
tom), Two Leggings sev- 
ered himself from the 
pipeholder's group but re- 
joined before returning 

Smithsonian Office of Anthropology, 
Bureau of American Ethnology Collection 

Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation 

For special occasions the Crows constructed a medicine sweat lodge of 
104 willows. 

Before one door of this common sweat-lodge -frame (below) waves a red 
blanket offering. In front of the rear door a buffalo skull lies on a mound. 
To one side of the frame stands a sacred miniature sweat lodge with in- 
cense-burning coals in its center. 

Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation 

Museum of the American Indian, Heyc Foundation 

Above: Unwrapped on pieces of trade cloth lie glass bead offerings to the 
Braided Tail medicine bundle, its central object the skull of a famous med- 
icine man who lived during the first half of the nineteenth century. 

After Sees The Living Bull returned from the fast, when he saw moccasins 
made of a coyote head and a fox head barking -fire at him,, he made a war 
medicine moccasin bundle from two coyote heads 7 each trimmed, with 
scalp locks. 

Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation 

Smithsonian Office of Anthropology, 
Bureau of American Ethnology Collection 


Hairy Wolf (top), an ac- 
claimed Crow warrior, 
took on the responsibility 
of climbing to the top of 
White On The Neck's 
Sun Dance lodge to flap 
his arms like an eagle's 
wings and blow his whistle, 
one of the ceremony's im- 
portant preliminary rituals. 
Another well-known Crow 
war leader, Long Otter 
(bottom), was the man 
chosen by Big Shoulder to 
lead his revenge raid in- 
stead of Two Leggings. 

Museum of the American Indian, Heyc Foundation 

The "four inexperienced men" whom Two Leggings (far right) led on 
the last Crow war party in 1888 were (left to right) Other Bull., Old 
Horn } Old Coyote, and Old Jackrabbit. 

Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation 

Two Leggings just before his death, his arm displaying the horseshoe- 
shaped scars cut by a -friend during an early fast. 

Now I wanted to provide for my safety by making a medicine for 
future raids which would satisfy my companions. I asked Old Dog for 
help and while he performed the ceremony and sang his medicine 
songs, I tied a willow branch into a hoop. After wrapping it with 
buckskin strips painted yellow, blue, and black, I tied a hawkskin to 
its top, making a medicine representing everything in my dream. 

I was anxious to test this medicine but already I had complete faith 
in it. I told Young Mountain that I had a proper medicine and that in 
my last dream many horses had come toward me from the north. We 
invited eight others and made ready to leave. My wife sewed several 
extra pairs of moccasins. Then I built a sweat lodge of forty-four 
willows and invited Crooked Arm and Two Belly. They were sur- 
prised and wanted to know how I had the right since they were sup- 
posed to teach the younger men these sacred things. This was make- 
believe, they said, and bad luck would come to those who joined 
in it. 

I said I was not pretending and that on Where The Thunderbird 
Sits Down Mountain I had received a powerful vision showing me 
how to build this sweat lodge. They were not convinced but attended 
the ceremony and gave their blessing. Afterwards Crooked Arm said 
he still thought I was too young to have that powerful a vision and 
wanted me to buy the right to build the sweat lodge from some well- 
known medicine man. Their dreams had been proven true, he said, 
and their medicine had been tested. He liked me and hoped someday 
I would be a chief, but I must do things the right way. 

I promised to follow all this, but I lied. I was stubborn because 
I had always had to make my own way. 

Early the next morning we rode out of our village on Willow 
Creek toward the Piegan country. Now I carried my medicine as well 
as my pipe and felt like a real pipeholder. 

After crossing the Musselshell River and riding in the direction of 
Bear Creek, we came upon a Piegan camp in a valley near Where The 
Bear Sits Down Mountain and waited until dark. 

Leaving two men with the horses, eight of us walked toward the 
camp. That night the Piegans were careless. Far from their tipis we 
found an unguarded horse herd quietly grazing. We easily drove off 
over a hundred head, starting back immediately because I wanted no 
accidents. After picking up our own horses we galloped through the 
night, all the next day, and through the next night. Then we stopped 
long enough to feed and water the horses and eat something our- 
selves. We never knew if they followed us, but gave them no chance. 


Right after our little rest we rode on, finally entering our village 
with eighty head running before us the rest had played out and 
been abandoned. Then I divided the horses among my men. We re- 
ceived many honors and songs of praise during the dancing and feast- 
ing after our return. This trip was one of the most successful I ever 

Crooked Arm still believed I should buy a medicine from some 
experienced medicine man and warned me not to let my luck make 
me forget the older people's valuable experience. But I felt my dreams 
were powerful and this last success made me very proud. The whole 
camp sang my praises and I was in no mood to listen to anyone. Now 
I am old and see the same things happen among white people. The 
young think they know everything and that we are no longer useful. 
But they learn, and for some it is too late. 

Soon afterwards five friends and I left for the Sioux country. After 
stealing six horses we were discovered and chased for two days. We 
were lucky to find a hiding place and covered our tracks, so they 
gave up. But when I returned home I did not hold my head so high. 
This trip scared me and for some time I did not feel like going out. 

After this Crooked Arm would not talk to me. Finally one day 
when many of our leading men were attending a sweat-lodge cere- 
mony he called me over and reminded me of that last escape, saying 
that maybe I had pretended I had a medicine so my friends would 
think I had received some powerful vision. He asked me to relate 
all my dreams to him and said that if I followed his advice the Great 
Above Person would help me. I did not like his telling me this and 
answered that I had only had a vision of the sweat lodge. 

I still could not listen. But if he and Two Belly had not shown such 
concern I would probably have been killed long ago. In time I realized 
the good example and valuable advice of these great men, and saw 
how stupid and reckless I had been. 


Chapter Eighteen 

The Crow labels for rivers, mountain ranges, creeks, and other 

geographical locations 'were drawn -from the same sources 

as their personal names: supernatural experiences, actual 

events, and physical -features. 

Present-day Pry or Gap received its Crow name of Hits With 

The Arrows from the legend about a boy who had been 

befriended by dwarfs dwelling there. Crows passing through 

these mountains were instructed to make offerings to these 

dwarfs by shooting arrows into a certain crevice. Hence, the 

gap was called Hits With The Arrows, Pry or Creek was named 

Arrow Creek, and the Pry or Mountains were known as the 

Arrowhead Mountains. 

When White Man Runs Him, a Custer scout, fasted in the 

Pry or Mountains they named his peak Where They See 

The Rope, because the white clay-painted thongs attached 

to skewers in his chest were visible to the villagers below. 

The site near Lewistown was known as Where The Moccasin 

Hangs because war parties left their wet footwear hanging 

there after crossing the river. 

The Musselshell River was so named for the shells 

found in its bed, the Powder River because along its arid banks 

buffalo and riders churned up great clouds of dust, like ash 

or powder. Near Forsyth, a jutting landmark for returning 

war parties was called The Coyote's Penis. 

IT WAS LEAF-FALLING SEASON and time to cut new tipi poles so we 
moved to Hits With The Arrows where there were many straight 
pine trees. 


While camped there I often noticed the three buttes along the 
eastern ridge of the canyon. We called these favorite fasting places 
the Medicine Dream or Dwarf Buttes from an old story our grand- 
fathers told us in which they were the home of dwarfs. Only Skin 
On The Forehead had fasted on the most eastern butte but I decided 
to climb it, even though Crooked Arm warned me I could never 
reach the top. 

After my preparations to meet the Great Above Person I started 
out, carrying my white-painted buffalo robe and a rawhide rope. At 
sundown I reached the butte's base. The sides rose straight up, but 
with my rope tied between two poles like a ladder I got to the top 
and kicked the poles away. My brother had promised to help me down 
in four days. 

Looking over the edge I could see our tipis along Arrow Creek. 
I built my resting place, lay down, and prayed for a vision. 

On the third day a strong wind with heavy hail blew over the 
mountains and I thought the butte shook under me. The following 
night I dreamt my vision of long ago. The spirit from before returned 
with the hawk sitting on the hoop on his head. Once again a voice 
sang three times, and when my vision person stood up the hawk 
whistled, flapped its wings, and streaks of lightning flashed from its 
eyes in many directions. A voice said those streaks were showing me 
where to travel. My vision man sang: "Everywhere I go, they wiU 
come to me." 

This song became one of my medicine songs on future raids. My 
spirit man called me his son and asked if I saw a trail with horses. 
Early the next grass season, when the snow was almost gone, he said 
I would steal them. He pointed to the Sioux country and I saw a 
whole herd running toward me. 

After the hawk had shown me several directions it shut its eyes, 
folded its wings, and hung its head. My dream person had appeared 
young but now he seemed like an old man. This meant I would also 
grow old. He carried a coyote over his arm and said that its name 
was Stays Among The Buffalo. This meant that I would act as scout 
on many raids to come. He sang again: "Go by here and thank you." 

As he sang he pointed and I saw many horses' ears and then I was 
awake. My blanket lay some distance from me and I was too weak 
to stand. For a moment I thought about this wonderful vision, certain 
that now my ambition to become a pipeholder and a chief would come 
true. After thanking the Great Above Person I felt strong enough to 
1 02 

stand. I picked up my blanket and went to the cliff edge. The sun 
was just rising and our women were building fires for the morning 

My brother would not come for another day. Since I had received 
my vision I walked to where I had kicked my ladder and found it 
snagged in a tree. When I threw my blanket down it also caught on 
a branch but I picked it up on my climb down. At home my wife 
made me a light meal and I lay down. 

I had already asked my brother to build me a sweat lodge, and after 
resting awhile I asked Crooked Arm and Two Belly and some other 
old men to smoke with me. When they arrived Two Belly filled the 
pipe and passed it around. Then he said that for a long time he had 
been watching me try to make a name for myself. When he was gone, 
he said, he believed I would be a chief. He told me to smoke the pipe 
and tell everything I had seen on the butte. 

I said that at the melting-snow time I was to head for the Sioux 
country and return with from fifty to seventy head of horses. My 
vision person had told me to go on these raids until we had many 

I said that for the second time I had seen a person standing at the 
eastern horizon with a hawk on a hoop and that I had already made 
a medicine of this dream for stealing those horses. Before I had only 
seen part of the man above the horizon but this time I had seen his 
chief's leggings, which meant that one day I would be a chief. Two 
Belly told me that I was a good man and did not doubt I would do 
all this. After our talk we entered the sweat lodge. I did not tell any 
of the younger men about my vision. 

Spring season finally came and camp moved toward Elk River near 
the mouth of Arrow Creek, stopping just east of the present Billings 
Fairgrounds and on top of the rimrocks. The Elk River Valley was 
below us and in those days seemed covered with buffalo. 

After a few days camp moved west to a big bend in the river. The 
women jerked and dried meat and tanned hides while we waited for 
the ice to leave the river. Then we crossed, traveling along Blue 
Creek and hunting for buffalo. 

One day Young Mountain and I were hunting and stopped to smoke 
on a ridge. I said that the season had come to go out, but warned him 
not to tell Medicine Crow because he would tell his father, who 
would try to stop us. He said that Medicine Crow probably would 


not come anyhow because his new wife was so good looking he would 
be afraid some young men would try to visit her. 

He asked about the horses in my vision and I said that I had only 
seen four clearly, two grays, a bay, and one with a split ear. 

When we returned to camp I told my wife to make some extra 
moccasins. Young Mountain had just gotten married and told his 
wife to make some extra pairs also. When we were ready I built 
a sweat lodge, making an offering to the sun. 

Somehow Medicine Crow heard because he came to invite us to 
his father's tipi for a smoke. Sees The Living Bull kept us there for 
a long time trying to convince me that my time had not come. I prom- 
ised to put off my trip but I lied. Later, when Young Mountain and 
I were talking outside his tipi, Sees The Living Bull came out. He 
warned us again not to go until my medicine told me, which he said 
was not for another moon. He reminded me what had happened to 
men who disobeyed their visions. But Young Mountain and I arranged 
to start before dawn. 

Just as we were leaving the next morning someone yelled Sioux had 
stolen horses during the night. The whole camp was quickly awake 
and search parties were formed. We joined them, since my last vision 
had showed my next trail heading east. We caught up with some 
more people on the banks of Elk River near the present east bridge of 
Billings. After crossing the river all of us followed the Sioux trail to 
Arrow Creek and from there south to the foot of the mountains. It 
had grown dark but we rode all night until we came to the Bighorn 
River close to where Fort C. F. Smith was later built. We saw where 
they had killed a buffalo and stopped to eat beside the river. We kept 
riding until Wolf Bear, the pipeholder, said that we could not catch 
them before they reached their village. After deciding to return 
home he ordered scouts to ride in the rear and on the flanks to prevent 
men from running away. If anyone was caught his weapons would be 
broken and he would have to travel back alone. 

But I did not want to return without even seeing any Sioux. I told 
Young Mountain to ride slowly to the head of the column. Working 
our way up until only Wolf Bear was ahead, I whispered that at my 
signal he should ride off to one direction and I would go in the other. 
We arranged a place to meet. 

We were riding fine horses and each carried a gun, ammunition, 
a buffalo robe, plenty of moccasins, and dried meat. My medicine 
was wrapped in its rawhide case and fastened to my belt. I pointed 

to it, telling Young Mountain that it said we would return safely. 

We were on the highest hill east of the site of Fort C. F. Smith, 
about to descend its western slope, when I gave Young Mountain the 
signal. Someone yelled as he galloped off to the left and I to the 
right. When the scouts drove me to a high bank I slid down while 
they stopped at the edge. Although they could not catch me now 
I was careful as I rode to our meeting place at the foot of the Bighorn 
Mountains. There I rested, holding my horse's reins and wondering if 
Young Mountain had been caught. But soon he rode over a hill and 
said he too had been chased off a bank. We quickly located the Sioux 
trail, keeping careful watch as we rode. Then Young Mountain no- 
ticed someone following us. It was Old Woman, who rode up to 
ask where his friends were. When we broke away, he said, the scouts 
had divided to chase us and this allowed others to scatter. They had 
arranged to meet somewhere along the trail. 

That night there was a full moon and we could see long distances, 
No one else arrived so we rode east along a creek bottom until I no- 
ticed horses ahead and stopped. They were Crows and I suggested 
to them that we all ride until daylight to find the Sioux canip. Then 
we could hide during the day and steal our horses back at night. I 
thought the main camp would be either on Rotten Grass Creek or the 
Little Bighorn River. 

A boy named Tobacco riding a bad horse said that he was poor 
and wanted to come. When we had run away he had dismounted, 
pretending to tighten his cinch, and had been left behind. He knew 
we were chasing the Sioux and said it did not matter if he was killed. 

I pitied him and made certain he carried a good gun and knife. Then 
I told my men that my last dream had promised me these horses. Even 
though the old men wanted me to wait I knew my time had come. 

The Sioux had stolen about two hundred head and their trail was 
plain in the moonlight. We followed it to Rotten Grass Creek and 
then upstream, arriving at the mountains about sunrise. 

I was so tired I must have fallen asleep on my horse. Suddenly a 
man appeared in the western sky pointing to something. Among a 
bunch of horses I saw a black, a gray, and one with a split ear. 

Young Mountain and I climbed a hilltop to scout while the rest 
stayed in the thick trees. But I was too sleepy to see well. Then 
Young Mountain pointed out a Sioux scout standing on a little rise 
near some pine trees, a blanket wrapped around his gun and body. 
After noticing seven more driving our stolen horses eastward, we 


crept back down. I told my men to mount, hoping to get around the 
next hill and surprise them from the front. Leading them out, I sang 
my medicine song: "Thank you. A long time. I am going to be a 
chief. Thank you." 

I told my men not to be afraid and explained that this song had 
come to me in a dream, that we would have good luck, recover our 
horses, and kill some Sioux. I advised them to throw off their robes 
to ride faster. 

A man slightly ahead suddenly pulled in, saying by signs that he 
saw tipi flaps. Abound the bend I saw tipis and people cooking. We 
hurried out of sight and decided to hide in some nearby trees during 
the day since we could not return to the mountains without being 
discovered. Leading our horses into a deep coulee in the grove, we 
left two young men with them and returned to the edge of the trees. 

I told my men to paint themselves and get their medicines. As we 
watched their camp we saw they were not Sioux but Cheyennes. The 
sun rose higher and I told the others that at dawn I had been told we 
would have horses tonight. Our luck had changed, and I told them to 
smoke with me and not to worry. 

While we were in the trees we noticed Cheyennes scouting the 
country. I had the horses exercised deep in the trees. I also had some 
men try to find food and water. We were suffering from thirst and 
as the day wore on it grew worse. When the sun passed the middle 
some men and women walked toward the flat near our hiding place 
to play shinny. Several players came close that afternoon but none 
entered the trees. 

Finally the sun went down and we thanked the Great Above Person 
for protecting us through the day and asked him to give us courage 
for the night. 

We were lucky that clouds covered the moon, just as we had been 
lucky the night before when the clear moon showed us their trail. 
As soon as it was completely dark we quietly walked our horses to 
the river, allowing them to feed and drink so they would be fresh for 
the work ahead. We heard the Cheyennes singing and beating their 
drums and calling out the names of their men who had stolen horses. 
We waited until the singing died down and the camp was quiet. Then 
I told Young Mountain to choose two men and look for the black, 
the gray, and the horse with the split ear. After showing him the 
direction I told him to return if he did not find them. 

For a while there was silence and then we heard horses. A large 
1 06 

bunch galloped in with our men behind them. Young Mountain rode 
a spirited horse and was leading a black, a gray, and one with a 
split ear. 

Each of us roped one, turning our own in with the rest. Then every 
man selected six to ten head to drive before him to make better time. 
We rode all night and when the sun rose we saw no Cheyennes behind 
us. For three days we had not eaten but I could not risk spoiling our 

After sunset we found a sheltered place and stayed long enough to 
water and feed our horses while we killed a buffalo and quickly 
broiled some meat. Then we rode through that night and at sunrise 
reached the top of the rimrocks along Elk River. In the valley below 
we saw our people taking down their tipis. After painting ourselves 
and unwrapping our medicines we drove the horses through camp, 
singing and shooting our guns into the air. I felt very happy because 
it was the second time I had been this lucky. 

We rode past Wolf Bear but he was angry at having returned with- 
out horses or scalps and lacking men, and would not notice us. 

Soon after this trip my wife left me and I married a girl named 
Medicine Porcupine. Although she was the daughter of Chief Shell 
On The Neck he did not make me give any presents for her. He must 
have thought well of me. She was a good woman and I was happy 
with her. 

The camp moved and hunting began for fresh hides for tipi covers. 
When we had enough we moved to Arrowhead Mountains for more 
tipi poles. 


Chaffer T^ineteen 

In his recollections Two Leggings mentions practically 

every class of Crow medicine bundle. While their junctions 

often overlap, distinctions can be made. 

Twice Two Leggings describes Sun Dance bundles. 

They can be termed war medicines, but they were never 

carried on raids. Two Leggings discounted the power of his 

first proper war medicine bundle because it was 

a gift from his non-warrior brother. When he manufactures 

two unaccredited bundles, both are another 

kind of war medicine the hoop medicine bundle. One of the 

prime ingredients in the bundle which will answer 

Two Leggings' prayers is a small rock, a "child" of Sees 

The Living Bull's famous rock medicine bundle. 

Preparing for Ms raid, Hunts The Enemy is given the 

choice of two bundles to take along, a skull medicine bundle 

and an arrow medicine bundle. While the latter was 

an ordinary war medicine, the -former rivaled the Sun Dance 

bundle in sacredness. 

Other varieties were the love medicine bundle 

described in this chapter, the witchcraft medicine of bear sinew 

in the Bear White Child legend, the buffalo-hunting 

medicine which Two Leggings fabricates and 

then legitimately purchases, and the horse medicine which 

he uses for a speedy escape from Sioux. 

WHILE OUR CAMP was at the joining of the Bighorn River and the 
Stinking Water south of the Arrowhead Mountains, Wolf Bear led a 

war party to stop people from talking about him. Poor Face and Fire 
Wing were among his warriors. They came upon Cheyennes during 
their Sun Dance while the Arapahoes and other tribes were camped 
with them. When they returned with many horses the celebration in 
their honor made me very anxious to go out. 

I spoke to Half Yellow Face and Bear In the Water, both pipe- 
holders. They had also been excited by Wolf Bear's raid and soon we 
had a group of young men. 

Half Yellow Face called us into his dpi after sundown. I sat to the 
right of Bear In The Water who was to the right of Half Yellow Face. 
The other warriors completed the circle around the fire. When Half 
Yellow Face's wife placed some glowing coals in front of him he lit 
his pipe and it was passed around. A closed medicine bundle lay before 
him on a buffalo robe. When the pipe returned he stood up, lifted his 
hands to the sky, and asked the Great Above Person to look down on 
us. He said that when the sun returned in the morning we would be 
on our way. He said that he was taking along the powerful medicine 
which the Great Above Person had given to Cold Wind, through his 
powerful servants, the elks. He promised to pray and sacrifice to it and 
asked the Great Above Person to protect us on this revenge trail. 

After sitting down he laid sweet grass on the coals and purified his 
hands and the bundle in the smoke. Then he untied the thongs, slowly 
peeled off the wrappings, and spread the contents before him. 

The medicine's main object was a flute, painted yellow and with 
two lines carved into it, one straight and the other zigzag. An elk's 
head and a bighorn sheep's head were also carved into the flute. A 
bunch of curlew and red woodpecker feathers was attached and an 
eagle feather hung from the end. Half Yellow Face addressed the bun- 
dle as his father and said that it had carried its child, Cold Wind, 
through many danger trails. Cold Wind had made him a duplicate 
medicine and now Half Yellow Face said he was also its child. Half 
Yellow Face prayed that the medicine would protect him and all who 
accompanied him. He asked its help in finding the Cheyennes so we 
could recapture our horses and return safely home. 

After singing four medicine songs belonging to the bundle he laid 
the medicine back on the robe. He explained that Cold Wind had re- 
ceived it during a long fast on a high mountain top near the head of 
the Stillwater River. He had seen a flute with bark on the stem appear- 
ing above the horizon, as if a strong hand were pushing it from below. 
When the flute's full length was visible it sank out of sight. The sec- 


ond time the flute appeared the bark was peeled from the wood and 
the third time Cold Wind noticed carvings on it. The fourth time it 
came forward until it stood in front of him. Then it disappeared and 
before him a man on horseback was playing the flute. This man was 
surrounded by enemies; and each time he played, one enemy was killed. 
Four times he blew and each time he took their scalps. Cold Wind 
noticed that the man was himself. This vision went away and another 
man carrying a flute rode up from the horizon; he recognized himself 
again. When this man played his flute some women tried to take it 
away from him, but he held it too high. Half Yellow Face explained 
that it was also a love medicine but that we were using it only as a war 
medicine which was its strongest power. After the man had changed 
himself into a bighorn sheep, the vision disappeared. 

Calling us his brothers, Half Yellow Face said that he was telling us 
all this so we would have faith in the medicine. He pointed to the 
curlew and woodpecker feathers and said that Cold Wind had seen 
those birds sitting on the flute as the man was holding it. The curlew 
had said it would stop him if he tried to lie. The woodpecker had said 
that no wood was too hard to penetrate. Half Yellow Face explained 
that we all knew the birds were divided into two clans and that along 
with some other birds the woodpecker belonged to the curlew's clan. 
The curlew was telling his clan members to help the dreamer and never 
to deceive him. Half Yellow Face explained that the woodpecker's 
words were like our saying, "I will eat that deed," which means that 
no matter how difficult or dangerous something is, it will be no harder 
than eating a meal. The woodpecker goes through the toughest wood 
with the same ease; Half Yellow Face said that with its help and this 
medicine's power we would overcome our trail's danger the same way. 

Showing us the eagle feather he said that Cold Wind had been told 
his body and breath were in it. Whenever he took the medicine on 
the warpath it would be as hard for the enemy to shoot him as to hit 
this feather fluttering in the wind. 

He said that the carved straight line was the vision man's voice 
which went straight out to an enemy and killed him. The green- 
painted zigzag line was the spirit of the medicine owner's voice which 
goes first to the earth and then to the enemies, confusing them so they 
can be easily killed. Half Yellow Face said that the carved heads were 
the two animals appearing to Cold Wind. They had also given the 
medicine songs he had iust sung to us. Those animals were members 
of the medicine's clan along with the curlew, the woodpecker, the 

swallow, the gum eater, the deer, the moose, the mule deer, the bear, 
and the chicken hawk. We were to watch out for those animals on our 
trail because they would tell us what to do. He said that if they ap- 
peared in our dreams we must tell him so we could be guided and re- 
turn singing victory songs. 

The flute was painted yellow, he said, because of the yellow flowers 
of spring and the yellow leaves of autumn. The medicine's power 
would last from season to season until forever, granting old age to its 
owner. 1 

Finally the medicine was passed around and we each prayed for it 
to give us strength and good luck. Then we began the medicine songs, 
singing them so often that I warned Half Yellow Face. But he would 
not listen. Our medicine fathers want us to pray, to sing the songs they 
have given us, and to go through the ceremony accompanying each 
medicine, but they do not want this overdone. Half Yellow Face 
would not stop and sang for most of the night. 

We left camp just before dawn, crossed the Bighorn Mountains, 
and descended their eastern slopes. Three days later we located a large 
Cheyenne camp close to the present town of Sheridan. For the rest of 
that day we hid among the cottonwood groves that lined the river, but 
moved in with darkness, I was in the rear when I heard shouting and 
shots. Running back and mounting my horse I galloped toward the 
mountains. Everyone had scattered but it seemed as if all the Chey- 
ennes were after me. They had enough moonlight to see and were 
still behind at daybreak. I reached the mountains and whipped my 
exhausted horse up the steep slopes. By the time we were on top it 
could hardly walk. I jumped off and ran, praying out loud. Behind me 
the Cheyennes were singing. I was sure they would torture me before 
killing me. Although the rough ground kept them from riding fast I 
could never escape on foot. 

Then I saw Great Unmarried Man on a large black horse at the edge 
of a cliff. About sixty feet below, the ground was covered with big 
boulders. The Cheyennes were now within shooting range and bullets 
whistled over our heads. Yelling for the boy to jump I threw myself 
off, hit the rocks, and rolled to the bottom. I looked myself over; my 
legs and arms were only skinned. The boy had ridden off on his horse. 
His head was cut on top and one leg was gashed open. The horse was 
so badly hurt we had to abandon it. As the Cheyennes appeared at the 
cliff top, throwing rocks and shooting, we crawled down the canyon. 
Once out of sight I wanted to keep moving because they would prob- 


ably run along the canyon ridge until they found a place to climb 

I knew all this bad luck was because Half Yellow Face had angered 
his medicine father by singing too many songs. 

The Cheyennes must have begun chasing the other men. We stopped 
hearing their shouts and saw them no more. The boy was vomiting 
because he was scared. When he told me to go home alone I said I 
would wait to bury him. Then he cried for water so I laid him in the 
shelter of a big rock and found a creek about half a mile away. I 
packed him there on my back and we went to sleep. 

The next morning I discovered a spring and after he felt a little 
better I helped him walk. We drank cold water and I bathed his head 
wound. We only had our guns, my knife, and our shirts. As night fell 
we grew cold so I cut off leafy branches for cover. I woke up to the 
boy whispering for me not to move. Opening my eyes I saw a large 
rattlesnake sliding along my body. It raised its head and crawled across 
my chest. I have always been afraid of these snakes but I lay still. After 
it had slid away I could not move and sweat covered my body. When I 
finally tried to stand, my legs would not hold me. 

It was bright and very hot so I told the boy we should start early. 
I had not eaten anything since the night before and was very hungry. 
The boy was still weak and asked for a stick to support himself. Then 
we began walking through the woods. We saw more rattlesnakes but 
felt too miserable to kill them. Before long the boy said he felt dried 
up and was dying. 

When I said we would reach home together he asked me to tell his 
mother to come after him. But then he said that maybe it was better if 
I waited until he was dead so I could take his gun to her. 

The worst part was our hunger, and I had seen no game. All the 
time the boy begged me to leave him, but I would not listen. About 
three bowshots away I saw some willows; in the mountains that al- 
ways means water. Packing him on my shoulders I carried him to the 
spring and dipped water for him with my hands. He could not get 
enough. During the day it grew hotter. The boy kept calling me 
brother and saying that he was starving. He cried when he thought of 
his mother. He had always been her favorite because her other children 
had not treated her well. I became angry and started to weep also, mak- 
ing up this song: "We have no way to live anymore. Soon we will be 

The boy told me to stop because he was not dead yet. Then I told 
him to be quiet. But when I suggested killing a deer he begged me not 

to leave him. I knocked off the horn from a buffalo skull and brushed 
out the inside with the chewed end of a willow twig. In this I mixed 
wild peppermint and water. He drank it and felt better. During the 
hottest part of the day we lay down. When I was asleep I saw a dead 
tree with frost on its bark. A voice said that horses were near this 
tree. A person appeared, showing me the horses and saying that on the 
other side of this hill was something to let me live. When I woke late 
in the afternoon Great Unmarried Man said he did not think he was 
sick anymore but complained that the rocks hurt his feet. Both our 
moccasins were in pieces and we stopped at some pine trees where I 
scraped off pitch and glued a piece of my breechcloth to the inside of 
his moccasins. We slowly made our way to some nearby woods and at 
nightfall I cut branches to cover us. Before the boy went to sleep I 
gave him sage to chew. He did not like its bitterness, but the next 
morning said that some more might help cure him. I said I was not giv- 
ing it for a medicine but because fast animals eat sage and it might help 
him run. 

He chewed some more but it made him thirsty and he spit it out. 
After he heard about my dream he was willing to find something that 
would help us to live. Finally we reached the other canyon wall. As 
we were resting I noticed something black moving in the trees. Before 
I went to look I told the boy that if he heard shooting to lie very still. 

It turned out to be a horse drinking from a spring, a buffalo-hide 
rope fastened to its saddle. Immediately I fell to the ground. But I was 
ready to risk anything and when no one appeared I walked up. The 
horse was very tame and when I rode back to the boy I said that this was 
the Great Above Person's gift which had been shown to me. 

I held the horse's lead while we faced the sun to pray. A buckskin 
bag was also tied to the saddle, holding three pairs of moccasins. They 
were too small for me but fit the boy. 

He rode while I ran alongside holding on to the saddle. In those days 
I was a great runner and for a long time we traveled that way toward 
the northern valley. After crossing the divide we rode double and that 
afternoon entered the valley. 

The boy felt well but hungry and I was also starved. But when I 
wanted to kill our horse he said it had saved our lives and we should 
take it home. There was no use staying at a creek we had just reached 
so we rode double again until we came upon a small buffalo herd. We 
were afraid to ride too near. As I dismounted I prayed to the sun to 
give us just one. 

Crawling on the off-wind side to within a few feet of a young bull, 


I killed it with one shot. Great Unmarried Man was anxious to eat 
but I reminded him of our older people's warning that if we have not 
eaten for a long time we should first drink some blood, then eat the 
tallow, and finally take just a little meat. 

After drinking some blood we packed all the meat we could carry. 
In the woods I built a fire with my flint and steel which I always car- 
ried in a leather sack on my belt. Then we broiled and ate some tallow. 
Finally I cooked a rib, warning him that if he ate too much he would 
feel worse than after jumping off that cliff. We forgot our troubles 
and I stopped being so cautious. The whole country seemed friendly. 

I told the boy not to be afraid because my dream had shown we 
would return home safely and would go out again this winter to cap- 
ture many horses. 

I cut out the sac holding the buffalo's heart, stretched it on a willow 
twig, and filled it with water. I also skinned the hide, burned off the 
hair, and cut a piece to cover my foot and meet on the instep and be- 
hind the heel. Then I sewed the pieces together with an awl and sinew 
from the buffalo's back muscles. When it dried it would fit tightly. 
We also loaded plenty of meat on our saddle. 

We rode until sunset when we stopped to eat and then continued 
on through the night. Two days later, on the banks of Elk River near 
the Mountain Lion's Lodge, we found our camp. 

Everyone thought we were long since dead and there was great 
excitement as our horse walked among the tipis. Those who had seen 
me outnumbered could not imagine how I had escaped. I had to tell 
our story many times. Even Sees The Living Bull wanted to know 
about it. I also told him of my dream and said that I expected to cap- 
ture those horses as soon as the frost was on the trees. This did not 
make him happy. He said I had been given those horses for the snow 
season after this one and that earlier I would have bad luck. 

But I could not understand my dream that way, and planned a raid 
for the coming snow season. Now I know he was right. 


Chapter Twenty 

Long after Big Crane was renamed Two Leggings, as told 
here, he received a third name, His Eyes Are Dreamy, probably 

relating to some visionary experience. 

At birth, names were either conferred by a selected paternal 

clansman or taken from the first objects the mother saw after 

delivery, a white-hipped horse, the top of a moccasin, and so on. 

A subsequent vision, a noteworthy battle exploit, or a personal 

peculiarity might yield a man more names. Old Dog, the maker 

of one of Two Leggings' hoop bundles, was so known because 

of his habit of leading an old dog to carry his spare moccasins. 

In adult life, a new name often announced a new personality 

and a luckier fortune. 

Some nicknames expressed characteristic behavior of paternal 

clansmen. "Both girls and boys received names this way. Once a 

woman hit herself over the head in a fit of anger; thereafter 

one of her brother's children was known as Hits Herself 

Over The Head. 

SHORTLY AFTER OUR CLOSE ESCAPE, camp moved to the Arrowhead 
Mountains, stopping near Hits With The Arrows. Grass season had 
passed and leaf-falling season was nearly over. The mountains gave 
us wood and sheltered us from the cold eastern winds. There was 
plenty of game and we faced Arrow Creek, which gave us all the 
water we needed. Our camp site was so good that everyone was glad 
to hear we would stay for the snow season. 

Two Belly asked me to be his neighbor and I had my wife pitch 
our tipi next to his. Then I visited him often and listened to his stories. 


He told me that my past honors were not enough to make me a 
pipeholder whom the chiefs would allow to lead a war party. He said 
that if I kept acting recklessly someday they would mourn my 
death. He advised me to buy a medicine bundle from some well- 
known medicine man. 

I answered that I was sure I would not die in battle. Although I had 
not enjoyed the luck I would have wanted, I said this would change. 
Already I had fasted several times and would keep doing it until I 
received a dream powerful enough to make me a chief. In the mean- 
time, I said, I would join raiding parties. 

Before the cold weather we made a few hunting trips as far as the 
Bull Mountains along the Musselshell River. Then the days began 
shortening and one morning we woke up in the middle of a freezing 
blizzard. Everything was covered with snow, but we were safe and 
warm. Those were the days when we visited each other's tipis and 
when the old men told tales of our grandfathers. I wanted to show 
myself as brave as those men. I wanted to make a name for myself 
which would be spoken by my grandchildren years after I had gone 
to the Other Side Camp. 

Although we count the new year from the time the snow-turned- 
back [the first snowfall] it was still late leaf-falling season and a few 
days later a warm wind blew in. The snow began melting and some 
places were completely bare. About this time I heard that Bushy 
Head was going to the Sioux country. I was the first to ask to join. 

In the early morning, after Bushy Head's preparations, thirteen of 
us set out on foot, leading two pack horses to carry our supplies. 
Bushy Head had dreamed of Sioux horses along Big River and some 
distance below Plum Creek. We followed Arrow Creek to Elk River, 
which we crossed at the Mountain Lion's Lodge, and walked through 
the hills toward the Musselshell River. Late one night we reached 
the southern spurs of the Bull Mountains and made camp in a thick 
pine grove. We had been traveling for some time and our supplies 
were gone. Two men went looking for buffalo and soon returned 
with two hides and meat. After cooking and eating the best parts we 
went to sleep. No guards were placed since we were still far from 
Sioux country. We slept past sunrise and while we washed in a creek 
a helper built our cooking fire. Then we ate, roasting some meat to 
pack with us, and continued north. 

The wind was still west and by now almost all the snow was gone. 

We hoped for colder weather since it was tiring to walk across the 
soft ground. 

Toward evening we arrived at the Musselshell River. The younger 
men wanted to spend the night here but Bushy Head and I were for 
crossing and his word was law. Some did not like this but we were 
on the other side before sundown, 

We camped a few miles north of the present town of Roundup at 
the base of a rimrock with pines on top. The weather was so fine that 
after eating we fell asleep without making a shelter. Again we placed 
no guard and the rimrocks protected us from the little wind now 
coming from the north. 

Sometime past the middle of the night I felt that someone slapped 
my face. Waking up, I did not recognize the country. I felt very cold 
and noticed my blanket had been blown away. It was snowing hard 
with a strong east wind rushing around the rimrock edge. 

I woke up the others, afraid they would freeze without enough 
covers. Some of the young men, tired from the long march, had not 
felt the change and were already numb. Weasel could not feel any- 
thing from the knees down and was unable to stand. 

We moved about a mile west where a sharp curve in the rimrocks 
protected us from the wind. After rubbing Weasel's legs with snow 
we placed him next to a fire and wrapped a blanket around him. 

We were afraid to fall asleep and huddled together with our backs 
to the rimrock. The fire reflected off the rocks and kept us a little 
warm. Although we were glad to see daylight, it grew colder. We 
roasted the remaining meat which made us feel better. The snow had 
stopped just before dawn and Bushy Head gave orders to move. But as 
we were packing the two horses it fell again and we decided to wait. 
The wind blew harder and soon there was a blizzard, the snow so 
thick you could not see an arm's length ahead. We fed that small 
fire through that day and that night and through the next day and 
the next night. On the morning of the third day the sun finally ap- 
peared, but the air was colder with the clear sky. 

We had not eaten anything for two days and saw no game so we 
decided to try to reach the trader's store at the mouth of Plum Creek. 
The snow was higher than our knees and higher than a horse in the 
drifts along the coulees. It would take us about four days to walk to 
the store, but camp was even farther away and Bushy Head did not 

want to go back. 


I was only wearing a torn pair of buckskin leggings and as we 
started out my legs grew numb. I took the red blanket from around 
my shoulders and cut it into leggings. The buffalo hide we had 
brought was frozen stiff and I cut off its long hair. Pulling the extra 
leggings over my old pair I tied them at the ankles and stuffed hair in 

Someone had killed a deer. Bushy Head was roasting the meat and 
as I walked up he stared. My legs were like young pine trees. When he 
called me Lots Of Leggings the others laughed, telling me to eat or 
I would have only extra leggings for my meal. 

They teased me for three more days, calling me that name until we 
reached the trader's store at the mouth of Plum Creek on Big River. In 
the store the trader saw my leggings and asked a man who spoke a 
little English my name. When he said Lots Of Leggings the trader 
did not understand and said Two Leggings; my friend said that was 


The weather stayed cold and more snow fell. For many days we 
walked along Big River trying to find the Sioux camp, often camping 
to wait for the weather to improve. After traveling like this for two 
moons, the days began to lengthen. Finally we located the Sioux and 
stole about fifty horses. It snowed some more, but now we were glad 
to have it hide our tracks. 

On our way back we passed the trader's store and again he called me 
Two Leggings. For the rest of the trip we had cold weather and I 
never took off those leggings. The snow became so heavy the horses 
wore out and in the early spring, when we walked into our camp, 
only one remained. There was great rejoicing as we had long since 
been given up for dead. Two Belly was the first to invite me for a 
smoke and asked about our trip. After I finished he smoked silently 
until his pipe was empty. 

First he called me Big Crane but then he said Two Leggings. I had 
been on a dangerous journey, he said, and it was good this trail gave 
me a new name. He hoped it would also remind me of my foolishness. 
Every time I went on the warpath I seemed to meet worse dangers 
and one day I would not return. While I had not had to fight this 
time, he said, I had little to show for it. He thought this a warning 
from the Great Above Person. I told him that the next day I was build- 
ing a sweat lodge and was going to invite him and a few other great 
men. I promised to make the medicine I had seen in my dream. Although 
I had made such a medicine before, with Old Dog's help, I said the 

ceremony had been short and was not followed by the ceremonial 
sweat bath I thought necessary. 

He answered that they would not enter my sweat lodge until I had 
shown them my medicine and told them about it. 

I was disappointed because I knew they would never accept my 
first medicine. But I was sensing a change in my life and was willing 
to do as they said. 

After inviting Bull Weasel, one of our oldest medicine men, to help 
me, I began to gather the materials. First I needed a big hawkskin and 
so I left early the next morning. After searching all day without any 
luck I returned to learn that I had been chosen leader of five scouts 
to search for buffalo on a mountain called High Peak In The Middle. 

We left before dawn. The weather was mild and we reached the 
mountain by the middle of the second day. Standing on top and look- 
ing through my telescope, we located several large herds and some 
smaller ones grazing close to us. After sending three men back to 
camp, I had nothing to do while camp moved to the mountain's base 
so I hunted for the hawk and finally killed one. Our people arrived 
three days later. As soon as my tipi was set up Bull Weasel helped with 
my medicine. 

I made a hoop from a red willow branch. Covering it with buckskin 
I painted it half blue and half black and tied the hawkskin and some 
red feathers to it. The black meant night and the blue the earth. The 
red, feathers meant the clouds and the hawkskin was my vision. Bull 
Weasel and I took all day to complete it. Much singing and smudging 
and other ceremonies were necessary to make it powerful. Then I in- 
vited Two Belly and some other men to my sweat lodge. When they 
heard my medicine had been properly made they arrived. I was glad 
and began thinking about going out on raids again. 

But when I met Crooked Arm he said that although I owned an 
accepted medicine I was not to act carelessly. He still thought I should 
stay in camp this coming snow season. 

He made me angry and I did not answer. I stayed in camp for many 
days, thinking only of my medicine. The snow was melting fast, and 
each day I felt more like leaving. 


Chaffer Twenty-One 

When Two Leggings dreamt his wishful dreams, they 

promised horses as 'well as scalps. The animals he saw 'were 

descendants of horses which originated from Santa 

Fe's stock-raising environs in the early seventeenth century. 

Between 1730 and 1760 the Comanches, and their 

cousins the Shoshonis, furnished the Crows with their 

first mounts. This set in motion a trade which found the Crows 

driving herds obtained from western transmontane tribes 

into present-day North Dakota. At the Mandan 

and Hidatsa villages they obtained twice the horses' 

original value in such European-made articles as knives, axes, 

kettles, gunpowder, and Northwest Company flintlocks. 

Also they exchanged articles of their own manufacture 

dried meat, buffalo robes, and tipi covers for squash, 

pumpkins, smoking tobacco, and corn. 

Horses quickly replaced dogs as the Crow index of 

wealth. Before long the Crows were second only to 

the Flatheads in their horse holdings. Accounts allot at least 

fifteen head per tipi, with the number often soaring to a 


On July 21, 1806, the explorers Lewis and Clark 

awoke to find twenty-four horses missing. All that remained 

of the thieves was a cast-off moccasin and a piece 

of robe. Their first theft of American mounts epitomized the 

intent and extent of Crow concern with white interlopers. 

THAT HUNT WAS not very successful and everyone was hungry for 
fresh meat after the long winter of eating only dried meat. Our chief de- 


tided to move east and meet the herds that roamed south each spring 
season. After crossing the Bighorn River we camped near the Wolf 
Mountains where we got most of the robes and fresh meat we needed. 
Then we left for the joining of the Little Bighorn and Bighorn rivers 
where Two Belly wanted to camp briefly before moving into the 
Arrowhead Mountains. When I told him of large herds which I had 
heard were grazing in the Pine Ridge Hills he announced camp would 
head there after some more hunting along the Elk River bottom lands. 

Two days later we left and at dusk arrived at a camping place. We 
hunted again for several days and then one morning left for Elk River, 
spending the first night at the Mountain Lion's Lodge. That night 
I had a dream. My medicine bird flew to earth with a man in its claws, 
dropping the body near the Musselshell River on a ridge in the Bull 
Mountains. Then four enemies heading toward this same ridge fell 
dead, and a beautiful buckskin horse came to me. 

When I woke up I lay still, wondering what it meant. I remembered 
my dream during my escape from the Cheyennes and the Wise Ones' 
advice not to go out. But they could not know how clear and strong 
my dreams had been. I would go out this coming snow season for the 
things my medicine fathers had promised. 

That day I built a sweat lodge for the Great Above Person and said 
prayers for success, gave thanks for my dream, and offered red feath- 
ers instead of the usual red blanket. People heard that I was preparing 
for a raid. Young Mountain rode over from the Many Lodges and 
several other warriors asked to join. 

Two Belly and Crooked Arm invited Young Mountain and me to 
Crooked Arm's tipi. After our smoke Two Belly said that if I took those 
other men with me camp would be unprotected. He said Crooked Arm 
had dreamt that if I left now someone would be killed. Two Belly 
wanted to move camp to the mouth of Arrow Creek and from there 
through Hits With The Arrows to the Buffalo Heart Mountain. 
Enemy signs had been found and he thought we would be safe there. 
He said we had killed enough buffalo and now the women needed 
new tipi poles which we could cut in the mountains. Two Belly asked 
why I wanted to bring sorrow to the people. 

I promised to tell him the next day whether I was going. But I 
described the four bodies and the beautiful horse which had come to 
me. A successful raid, I said, would give our people more reason to be 
happy and to dance. 

I lied when I said I might give up my trip. I could not forget what 


my medicine bird had given me. When we were outside I told Young 
Mountain that we would remain with the camp through the next day 
but would leave early the following morning. 

On one of his last hunts north of the Elk River and close to the 
Bull Mountains Young Mountain had seen enemies, but being alone 
he had turned back. That was my dream's direction, and I told him of 
the bodies and the beautiful buckskin. 

Early the next morning the tipis were taken down, the pack horses 
and travois loaded, and our camp leader led us to the mouth of the 
Arrow Creek. From the Mountain Lion's Lodge to here was not far 
and our tipis were up long before sunset. The chief wanted to stay 
for a few days while our people traded at the new white man's store 
built by Long Beard [Thomas McGirl]. 1 

Telling Young Mountain and the others to keep their horses in 
camp that night, I also warned them not to mention our plans. But 
someone must have talked because late in the evening I was called to 
Two Belly's tipi. On the way I met Young Mountain and said that 
whatever happened we would leave as soon as I left the tipi. 

After we smoked I was given a good meal and then Two Belly said 
that he had heard I was taking away many of his best warriors. He 
told me it was not safe to leave camp without protection and to re- 
member Crooked Arm's advice. 

As I was promising not to go a horse galloped up to the tipi and 
One Blue Bead ran in, covered with sweat. We had been raided dur- 
ing the night and all of his and Shot In The Arm's horses were gone 
along with many more. He had found one of the thieves' ropes and 
they were Sioux. 

Outside I joined Young Mountain and we ran for the horses. Camp 
was wide awake with most men jumping on the first horse they found. 
The women and children were crying over their stolen horses; the 
men were singing war songs. 

Riding up to my tipi I dashed inside for my gun and medicine and 
ran out. When I jumped on my horse to catch up with the others, 
Young Mountain was close behind. Everyone seemed to be spreading 
out. I noticed someone near the river bank calling to us. It was Black 
Head, who had discovered where the Sioux had crossed. 

He told me to lead since I had been planning a raid and had said my 
dream was good. But he said that the earth does not move and by travel- 
ing steadily we could overtake them. He wanted to be sure our horses 
would not lose their strength. 

After fording the river and picking up their tracks on the other 

side I made them stop so I could make medicine. Kneeling on the 
Sioux tracks which headed north over a group of ridges toward the 
Bull Mountains, I drew a straight line across their trail with my finger. 
Then I formed a dirt bank along the line's far side and made a smudge 
of white pine needles. Sitting on the trail I faced where the Sioux had 
gone and smoked my pipe. I pointed the stem and told the Sioux to 
smoke this and wait until I caught up with them. Now their trail 
would be rough and they would grow sleepy. 

After I stood up I unwrapped my medicine and prayed to the Great 
Above Person through whom I had received it, saying that I had acted 
as he had said and asking him to have pity on the women and children 
crying over their horses. 

As I finished a stolen horse walked out of the brush toward us. Here 
I said was the sign of my medicine's power. We were eight but Black 
Head asked me to wait for others. Whenever we were about to leave, 
men would call to us from the opposite bank. 

About the middle of the day we finally left. It grew very hot and I 
prayed this would make the Sioux sleepy. Their trail led east and 
north, directly toward the spot where I had seen the four bodies. Now 
I knew that everything would come true. 

Late that afternoon we came to where they had killed a buffalo and 
made a fire. I would never have stopped for a meal the first day out; 
already they were growing careless. 

Young Mountain, Hawk High Up, and I rode ahead to a nearby 
hill. If we saw anything we were to ride our horses back and forth. 
But when we searched through my telescope there was no sign of 
Sioux, and we signaled for the others to join us. After doing the same 
thing on the next ridge my men killed a deer and cooked some meat. 
We rode to a third hill, picketed our horses near the top, and crawled 
to the cover of some tall bushes. A big basin lay before us and at the 
far end I could see the Bull Mountains covered with pine trees. By the 
time the rest had caught up the shadows were long. But we had ridden 
slowly during the day and our horses were still fresh. I told my friends 
we would travel the shortest route to the pine-covered ridge in my 
dream, close to the Musselshell River. 

The moon shone brightly enough for us to ride apart from the 
Sioux tracks. I did not want to corne upon them in the night. Soon 
after the first streaks of dawn showed in the east we reached the ridge. 
Black Head had noticed a big buffalo herd to the east. The Sioux had 
not yet passed. 

After picketing our horses we took off our saddles and rested. 


Young Mountain, One Blue Bead, Paints His Body Red, and I kept 
a careful lookout from behind the trees on top. 

Noticing movement on the hills several rifle-shot distances to the 
south, I picked up my telescope. Horses broke out of some timber 
with men riding behind, all heading for us. I counted five Sioux and 
recognized our horses. 

I left One Blue Bead and ran down to the others. We painted our 
faces and unwrapped our medicines, tying them where we had been 
told in our dreams. Bobtail Wolf painted seven red spots on his face 
running from one side of his jawbone over his forehead to the other 
and representing the dipper. He tied his foretop with a piece of otter 
skin, fastened some feathers to the back of his head, and sang a medi- 
cine song: "My son is coming." 

Boils His Leggings sang a medicine song for Young Mountain, 
painted a red bar over his mouth, and fastened a red-painted eagle 
feather in his hair. Making him face the Sioux, he pointed to the sun 
and said that he wanted Young Mountain to do some brave thing so 
the people would know him. He called him his son and told him to 
look into the sky. 

Bobtail Wolf sang a medicine song for his brother Goes First. 
Then he fastened an otter-skin strip to his brother's forehead and gave 
him a shield painted with the thunderbird. He sang another medi- 
cine song, repeating it until Black Head and Few warned him to stop. 

Black Head asked me to sing a medicine song for the whole party. 
Seeing that the Sioux were still far away, I sang one. Bobtail Wolf 
was singing another medicine song for his brother: "My child, I am 
coming toward you." 

He told his brother that it was strong medicine and would protect 
him. He sang again: "I am coming toward you today." 

Telling my men to stand close together, I rode around them four 
times, praying for the Great Above Person to help us recover our 
horses and kill some Sioux. Then I sang my medicine song: "Any- 
where I go I will always thank you. Thank long ago. I will be a chief." 

Bobtail Wolf was still singing for his brother. When we tried to 
stop him he said we meant nothing to him. We felt sorry for his 

Taking my eagle-tail medicine out of its wrappings, I whistled seven 
times and looked under the hoop. Four enemies lay on the ground and 
a number of horses ran toward me. Black Head had watched and 
asked what would happen. I told him not to be afraid, that I had seen 
my true dream again. 

One Blue Bead ran down to say they were getting close. When he 
had first looked through my telescope he had recognized a pinto, a 
roan, a baldface, and a black horse. These were among our fastest 
horses; it would have been difficult to catch them. A Sioux was leading 
the pinto as if he meant to ride it and another man was on the black. 
But just before One Blue Bead had left, this man on the black had 
changed mounts to chase a small buffalo herd to the north. 

I sent Young Mountain up the ridge, telling him to signal when they 
were within rifle shot. I told my men to shoot straight because One 
Blue Bead had reported that they all carried good guns and one also 
had a bow. The younger men were very excited and I had trouble 
holding them back. 

Then Young Mountain made signs and jumped on his horse. Yelling 
our war cries, we whipped our horses over the ridge. When the Sioux 
heard us they dropped the stolen horses and raced to a nearby hill, 
dismounting and shooting from behind rocks. 

Some of us rounded up our horses while the rest surrounded the 
Sioux. When we had driven them a safe distance I left some younger 
men as guards and rode back. Our men were riding in fast circles 
around the Sioux, hanging over their horses' sides and shooting from 
under their necks. 

One of their horses broke loose and galloped in front of me. When 
I caught its reins I saw the beautiful buckskin of my dreams. Now I 
was sure we would kill the four men. We had seen the fifth Sioux re- 
turn from his hunting and run off when he saw his friends surrounded. 

We were not hitting anyone so I told my men to dismount and 
crawl up. A Sioux called to us, waving his knife over his head. Loud 
Hawk said that he was calling us women and asking us to come near 
so he could stab us. I told my men to close in and not let the yelling 
make them nervous. 

Big Lake was lying in front behind a boulder. As he lifted his rifle 
he fell back. We thought he was dead but his forehead had only been 
grazed. We dragged him out of the shooting. After a quick council 
we decided to charge. The first time we were thrown back but then 
we drove them out of the rocks and into a coulee. The one who had 
called us women had run first. Big Lake recovered and now crawled 
to the coulee's edge and shot into it. A Sioux stumbled out with blood 
pouring from his forehead, threw out Ms arms, and fell on bis back. 

As Goes First ran to join Big Lake, singing his medicine song, he 
was shot through the heart. This was because his brother had sung too 

many songs over him. 


We were all angry and charged the three remaining men. One was 
killed immediately but we did not know who did it, he was hit so 
many times. Young Mountain was in front of me running down the 
coulee with his head bent forward. A bullet struck him in the neck, 
coming out his spine. Another bullet cut a hole in my shirt but I kept 
running and shot into the head of the man who had killed Young 
Mountain. Pulling out my knife, I slashed at his scalp. Then I began 
crying and shot him again and again. I forgot everything until I heard 
sounds like animals growling and turned to see Old Tobacco holding 
the last Sioux's rifle barrel. We could not aim because they were 
jumping around so much. Old Tobacco gave a wrench and the Sioux 
slipped on a stone. As he fell he pulled the trigger and the bullet hit 
Old Tobacco in the forearm, coming out the middle of his upper arm. 
Before the Sioux could get to his feet two bullets knocked him on his 
back. He was still trying to stand when Bobtail Wolf ran up and 
stabbed him twice in the neck. Blood poured out and he fell dead. 

We scalped only three because the last man's hair was short and 
dirty. We let that fifth man get away. After carrying my partner and 
Goes First to the top of a high bluff we covered their bodies with 

My dream had come true, but our homecoming was sad. Crooked 
Arm's dream had also come true. Young Mountain's death was a great 
sorrow for me. I could not be content with our success and made up 
my mind to take revenge. 

When we returned Two Belly called me to his tipi and reminded 
me that he had wanted to go to the Arrowhead Mountains. Now I 
had lost my best friend and another man also. He said that my dream 
might have been true but that if I had listened to the older men's ad- 
vice I could have found another opportunity. Their dreams, he said, 
had more truth than those of young men. 

He was right and I kept silent. Immediately we broke camp and 
moved to Arrow Creek, traveling through Hits With The Arrows 
towards the Buffalo Heart Mountain. As our camp moved from place 
to place, following the buffalo, I would often walk into the hills to 
weep over Young Mountain. 


Chaffer Twenty-Two 

Two Leggings looped he 'would regain the 

goodwill of Sees The Living Bull through a ceremony of the 

Tobacco society. This group 7 s activities revolved 

around the cultivation of a holy plant never smoked 

and the adoption rites -for new members. 

Two Leggings ascribed the plant's origin to the 

time of creation. Another story calls it the personal medicine 

of No Vitals, the chief who led the Crows away from 

the Hidatsa. In turn new chapters were -formed by men 

receiving visions with variations on the Tobacco 

theme: Breath dreamt of a blackbird; when his newly organized 

Blackbirds danced they wore blankets to Imitate wings and 

attached blackbird skins to their backs. 

The annual planting ceremony occurred when the 

chokecherries ripen around May. The Crow word for the 

society, "soaking" referred to the preparation 

given the seeds prior to planting. A procession, led by "He That 

Mixes" the rite's official, walked to that season's plot, 

which was fenced in with a brush barricade. There 

the seeds were planted, with each couple allowed two rows. 

Another ritual occurred during the harvest when the 

chokecherries are ripe, sometime in late summer. 

YOUNG MOUNTAIN HAD DIED because I had not followed the medicine 
men's advice. It was hard to have to learn this "way. In the past I had 
met with some good luck and had also experienced many close escapes, 
but now I had lost my best friend. I began to see how reckless and 
foolish I had been. 


One day when we were camped near the Buffalo Heart Mountain 
I noticed some well-known men talking together on a hillside, Two 
Belly, Sees Under, Crooked Arm, Old Dog, and No Fears. After 
Crooked Arm had called me over he told me to wait before going on 
another raid because he had had another bad dream. He said that he 
had given the same advice to Man Who Can Talk English, but he 
would not listen. Man Who Can Talk English's medicine was made 
by some other tribe x and if he kept on he would be killed. He said 
that Man Who Can Talk English would kill any Indian or white man 
he met. Crooked Arm wanted me to buy a medicine from Sees The 
Living Bull so that my luck would change and I could become an 
accepted pipeholder. He did not make me concerned for my own 
safety, but I grew afraid I might have more bad luck and lose more 
men. Then all my hopes would be ruined. 

I watched Man Who Can Talk English lead his men out of our 
village and waited for his return. But they never came back and we 
learned later they had all been killed. Our camp moved to the present 
site of the Mission of St. Xavier but so many bad things happened 
there our chiefs moved us back to the Buffalo Heart Mountain. 

I could also have asked Red Bear to make me a medicine. He was 
one of our greatest medicine men and could stop the sun, darkening 
the earth for several days. 2 But Sees The Living Bull was my friend 
Medicine Crow's father, and perhaps he was a greater medicine man 
since he had made a medicine for Red Bear. Before I could ask for 
his help, however, he would have to adopt me as his son during the 
Tobacco Dance. 

Some days later I rode to the Mountain Crow camp and found his 
tipi. He was at the back and invited me to sit down. When he asked 
why I had come I said that I wanted him to adopt me and to make my 
medicine. His medicine was stronger than mine, I said, and I needed 
better luck on my raids. 

He said I was wrong, that it was the Great Above Person who gives 
us what we need. I begged him to adopt me, promising a good roan, 
a buckskin, and one other horse, all three well-known racers. I also 
offered other things, but he refused. He was angry with me for going 
against their advice so often. I cried all the way back to the River 
Crow camp. 

Three moons later I heard that a Tobacco Dance was to be held in 
the Mountain Crow camp. Immediately I rode over. On the dance 
day I wore my best war shirt and a pair of newly tanned buckskin 

leggings. To my hair I attached my long false-hair attachment and 
around iny neck I hung a silver wampum necklace. 

I thought that now Sees The Living Bull would adopt me and 
waited for his invitation. The ceremony began and I saw people 
gathering but no one came. I waited until the sun had traveled half 
through the day and finally I walked into the ceremonial lodge and 
joined the dancing. I do not know whether this had ever been done, 
but I was trying to follow Crooked Arm's advice. Sees The Living 
Bull sat in the dance lodge and talked with Iron Bull, 3 who was asking 
for my adoption. But he shook his head and would not look at me. 
When I walked up and asked myself he said he had heard a great deal 
about me and thought I was a medicine man already. I realized how 
foolish I had been not to listen to these men before. Now they dis- 
trusted me, I would never become a leader and a chief as I had longed 
since childhood. 

When the next Tobacco Dance was held I was not invited but 
joined in anyway and again asked Sees The Living Bull to adopt me. 
Finally he forbade me to enter the dance lodge. Before I could be 
adopted I had to be invited four times. Now he would not even allow 
me to dance. 

One day in his tipi I pleaded that he was our father and we his 
children and that if he made me a medicine I would avenge the five 
River Crows who had been killed since the last snow. When I re- 
turned, I said, the women would dance and the warriors would have 
their faces painted black. When I said that if he loved his children 
he would help me it was the strongest thing I could say, but he sat like 
a stone. 

Camp was broken and Sees The Living Bull and some of his people 
moved north where they spent some time before returning to the 
Arrowhead Mountains. I joined the Mountain Crows there, and al- 
though Sees The Living Bull was no relative I followed him every- 
where. I had my wife pitch my tipi close to his and did everything to 
make him feel kindly towards me, inviting him often to eat with us 
and saving the choicest pieces of meat to leave at his tipi. When I 
killed a deer I would have my wife tan the hide very softly for his 
wife. I also carried firewood and water for her. When the cold winds 
blew from the east I hunted for the buffalo with the heaviest fur and 
had my wife make robes for his wife. Many moons passed and nothing 
happened, but I never left camp except to hunt for him. 

Then one morning his wife came to invite me to a meal. I was very 


excited when I entered their tipi. Sees The Living Bull did not speak 
while we were eating. But that did not bother me; older people often 
behave that way. After the meal his wife told him that I had been 
following them for a long time, selecting choice meats, making robes, 
and doing little tasks. She told him that he should give me what I de- 
sired so much. 

I thought my time had come. I can still see him sitting across from 
me, his hair parted in the middle like a woman's and cut short at the 
shoulders. But his lips did not move and his expression did not change. 

I returned to my tipi and lay on my robes, crying and praying for 
the Great Above Person and my sacred helper to soften his heart. 

The next morning I was woken by Sees The Living Bull calling me 
outside. When I met him he asked me to have a meal with him. Once 
again I was hopeful and walked behind him to his tipi. We did not 
talk while eating. After we had smoked a pipe he said he had been 
testing me for a long time because of the way I had acted before. I 
was poor, he said, and he would pity me now because he admired the 
way I had been following him; it proved I had learned. He told me to 
come to his tipi the following morning with seven straight willows 
and one forked one. 

The next morning I sat beside him and watched him make a minia- 
ture sweat lodge inside his tipi. When he asked how many willows he 
had used I said eight. He told me to remember that and also to re- 
member that there is a Great Above Person who gives certain things 
to us people of the earth. I had gone to war on my own and Sees The 
Living Bull had refused to help me, but now he had decided to pity 
me. He said we are not great but that the Great Above Person can 
make us great. From now on, he said, the Great Above Person would 
know what I was doing. 

Then Sees The Living Bull placed buffalo grease and charcoal in 
front of him. While rubbing the grease over the branches he ex- 
plained this meant plenty of food would be given to whoever received 
his medicine and that this could happen in camp or on a raid. He 
prayed to the Great Above Person to grant me this power, saying that 
he was giving me the lodge to build whenever I needed help. 

After I powdered the charcoal he rubbed it over the branches and 
sharpened their ends. Clearing a space and smoothening it over with 
more powered charcoal, he dug a little pit in the middle and dropped 
in small live coals. Then he drew a number of bottle-shaped tracks 
around the hole with his finger. Each track's opening pointed to where 

the little lodge's entrance would be. Bending the first willow, he 
pushed the sharpened ends into the ground a foot apart, running east 
and west. The second willow he placed a little apart but parallel to 
the first. Then he bent the five remaining willows across these so that 
the lodge frame faced east. Holding some bear root he moved his 
hand around the frame from right to left, stopping at the entrance. 
He did this three more times before finally laying the root on the coals. 

He explained that these were the lodges that softened the heart of 
the sun. We sacrificed to the sun, he said, and I should make this cer- 
emony whenever necessary. When Sees The Living Bull asked if I 
knew how to make the lodges I thought he meant their construction 
and how to perform the ceremony. But he also meant the little pat- 
terns he had traced on the charcoal floor. I did not ask about them and 
never learned their meaning. 

For some time I stayed in his tipi, listening to stories of our people. 
Before I left he told me to bring twenty-four willow branches the 
next morning. I had been hoping he would make my medicine that 
day, but was not discouraged by the delay. That evening, as Sees The 
Living Bull had suggested, I invited several older men to a sweat bath 
for the following day. 

I had the twenty-four willows cut early the next morning and 
helped Sees The Living Bull build a regular-sized sweat lodge. I was 
to be the door raiser and Sees The Living Bull told me I would prob- 
ably be given certain dreams. 

After the lodge was made we sat and waited for our guests. Sees 
The Living Bull's dream forbade him to enter a sweat lodge. Soon our 
guests arrived and prepared themselves. 

When Neck Bone walked up I pretended three times to raise the 
door flap. The fourth time I really held it aside. As he stooped to enter 
he told me he had seen a vision of horses. He called me his child and 
gave me those horses. 

Then Small Face went in and said he had dreamt of the new grass 
coming up. Calling me his child, he wished I would live until then. 

When I raised the flap for Burns Himself he also called me his child 
and said that his vision of a successful war party was now mine. 

The fourth man called me his child and said his vision had shown 
him several scalps and that in the coming seasons he hoped I would 
take them. 

Other guests came after these men had entered, but a person can 
only receive four visions at a time so they sat down without speaking. 


After the sweat bath I gave everyone a meal. When they were gone 
Sees The Living Bull said that these fathers of mine had made wishes 
for me as they had entered and had offered prayers for my success in- 
side. He wanted me to go home and return early in the grass-growing 
season. Then he would do something for me. Although I was disap- 
pointed not to have received a medicine I knew he would stop every- 
thing if I tried to interfere, 

On my way back to the River Crows I remembered Neck Bone's 
vision. Before I went back the next grass-growing season I decided 
to go on one more raid. A little later I joined some men to Dirt 
Creek, returning with a few enemy horses. But they were strays and 
I did not think much of our trip. When I got back I received word 
from Sees The Living Bull that he did not want me to leave anymore 
without his consent. 

Piegan had joined me on this trip. When I told him that although I 
had been shown many things I had not yet received a medicine he 
said that Sees The Living Bull owned a very powerful rock medicine. 
Its large rock had a smaller rock child in the same bundle. He sug- 
gested I ask for that because it would give me much good luck. 


Chaffer Twenty-Three 

Two Leggings had good reason -for wanting to accompany 

well-known pipeh older s like Hunts The Enemy. The 

chances for success and survival were greater when one was 

protected by proven dreams. 

Like Two Leggings., Hunts The Enemy was born a 

River Crow and a member of the Not Mixed clan. However, 

he had been able to secure his own medicine 

without outside assistance. This, and his membership in 

the rival warrior society, may account for part of 

their mutual antipathy. During his lifetime Hunts The Enemy 

led thirty successful raids in which he cut a tethered 

horse, took three guns one from a Pend d'Orielle chief when 

the latter' s firearm was pressed against his mouth and cut eight 

Piegan scalps. He died in 2907. 

Twice, Two Leggings joined war parties led by Half 

Yellow Face, another -famous pipeholder who 

gained renown as one of six who scouted for Son Of The 

Morning Star Custefs Crow name just before the massacre. 

Along with all the Ankara scouts, he and White 

Swan were assigned by mistake to the Little Soldier Chief 

Reno's Crow name. At first it was thought 

they had also been killed, but during the butchering of Reno's 

forces they hid in a cave for two days and nights. 

TIME PASSED SLOWLY "while I waited for grass-growing season and my 
visit to Sees The Living Bull. During the days I hunted and in the 
evenings I listened to the old men's stories. 

But when I heard that Hunts The Enemy was leading a raid to the 


Piegans I could remain In camp no longer. In his two years as a pipe- 
holder he had always been successful. Although younger warriors 
were always anxious to join him he never took more than ten men. 
Sees The Living Bull had told me to stay home but I wanted to ask 
him to let me go just this once. Riding over to his camp I noticed snow 
clouds moving fast across the sky. 

Sees The Living Bull listened and when I finished he looked straight 
ahead for a long time. Then he put his pipe down and said he still 
thought it would be better if I stayed at home. But he knew how I felt 
and if I really wanted to go he said I must leave my pipe and medicine 
and join as a helper. I was very happy. 

Snow was falling as I rode back. In camp a friend told me that 
Piegans had raided our horses and that Hunts The Enemy was going 
to recover those and steal some more. 

Hunts The Enemy always hid somewhere so the younger warriors 
would not bother him, but I asked Bull Eye, his brother, to speak for 
me, telling him that my medicine father had allowed me to go as a 
helper. Bull Eye promised to try and I waited in my dpi for the an- 
swer. After dark, as my wife and I were finishing our meal, Bull Eye 
came in and I offered him the pipe. He sat down and we smoked in 
silence. Then he emptied the ashes and said that Hunts The Enemy 
had remembered my bravery on other raids and wanted me to prepare 
myself and come to his tipi. There he would open the powerful medi- 
cine of Braided Tail and wanted all his men present. After that we 
were to meet on Porcupine Hill before sunrise. 

I was glad and thanked Bull Eye. When he was gone my wife put 
her arms around my neck and cried for me not to go. I asked if she 
wanted a coward for a husband. She said I had shown my courage 
many times and that if camp were attacked I could prove myself. I 
told her that if I stayed I would get fat and lazy like Wolf Tail and 
Bear Grease. Once they had been warriors but now they were women. 
Their wives had wanted them at home and now they did not have 
enough winter clothes and would not even hunt. But she put her arms 
around me again and spoke about a bad dream. I told her to stop talk- 
ing since her dreams were only women's dreams. I asked what would 
Hunts The Enemy think if I sent word I could not go because my 
wife wanted me home. I told her to hurry and gather my moccasins 
because we were leaving soon after the ceremony. 

She was unhappy but quiet. While I prepared my weapons she 
collected several pairs of moccasins, strips of sinew, and awl, and some 
pemmican. After wrapping everything in a bundle to pick up later I 

picketed a horse for the trip one of the best runners I ever owned. 
Then I joined Hunts The Enemy who had returned to his brother's 

When I walked in I saw Hunts The Enemy, Bull Eye, Ten Bear, 
Head, Plenty Bear, Willow Top, Little Heart, Never Dies, and a boy 
whose name I have forgotten. Never Dies was the bundle's owner and 
sat at the back with two unopened medicine bundles before him. 

They passed the pipe and we smoked in silence. When it came to 
Never Dies again he emptied the ashes and laid it beside the bundle. 
Calling Hunts The Enemy his brother, he said that he had been in- 
vited to bring this powerful medicine to aid Hunts The Enemy on his 
coming raid. He said it was good that Hunts The Enemy had done 
this and that he had brought two medicine bundles so Hunts The 
Enemy could have his choice. One was the powerful arrow medicine 
which he had received from his father, the other the powerful skull 
medicine of his father's father's father who was Braided Tail. 1 

Hunts The Enemy chose the skull medicine and Never Dies 
wrapped the arrow medicine in a blanket and laid it aside. Then he 
smoothed the earth floor, and asked for coals, which were quickly 
brought by Hunts The Enemy's wife. As he scattered a small handful 
of bear root on them, sweet smoke filled the tipi. 

He purified his hands and face in the smoke, held the skull bundle 
in it, and began unwrapping the deerskin coverings. As we watched he 
prayed and sang four medicine songs belonging to the bundle. 

Finally the skull was uncovered on a wrapping of soft buffalo calf- 
skin. Hundreds of presents, given to the bundle by the many people 
who had consulted it, were tied to this inner wrapping. The skull and 
wrappings were smeared with red paint. Red feathers and eagle plumes 
were also inside. 

Never Dies laid seven red feathers in front of the skull and asked 
someone to fill and light his pipe. After smoking in silence he pointed 
the stem at the skull and asked the Great Above Person to guide us 
and warn us in case of danger. 

He told Hunts The Enemy that this bundle was too heavy so he 
would give him the seven feathers which carried the same powers. 
The day before, he said, he had made a smudge and sung a song. Un- 
der the skull he had seen that Hunts The Enemy would return with 
many horses and that two enemies would be killed. He told Hunts 
The Enemy that when he saw the enemy he must fasten these seven 
feathers to his hair and pray to them. 

Then Never Dies sang a medicine song and we all joined in until we 


knew it. Another pipe was passed around and when its ashes were 
emptied Never Dies wrapped up his bundle. Before we left everyone 
gave Never Dies a gift and Hunts The Enemy presented him with 
one of his best horses. 

I did not want to be late and told my wife good-bye long before 
dawn. She did not speak but there were tears in her eyes. After every- 
one had gathered at Porcupine Hill we headed north toward the 
Musselshell River. 

That first night we camped at the head of Yellow Willow Creek. 
Then we rode to Trout Creek where we found another Crow camp. 
Crooked Arm was its chief and he asked if I was carrying Sees The 
Living Bull's pipe. When I explained that I was going as a helper he 
said I should have stayed home but to do my best. 

We left the boy behind because his horse went lame, and we began 
to ride toward the northwest. For the next two days we all rode to- 
gether, but as we neared Piegan country Plenty Bear and I were sent 
to scout. Early each morning we had to gallop long distances ahead of 
the others. The country was rugged and our work very tiring. When 
we approached a high hill Plenty Bear would gallop around to scout 
the southern side while I covered the northern side. We were ap- 
proaching the Great Falls of Big River and expected Piegans at any 

I felt like a coward. I was acting as a helper only because I had left 
my medicine at home, but the men treated me like a child, ordering 
me to carry their wood and build their fires. When Hunts The Enemy 
told me I had been wrong to leave my medicine I said I was following 
an important medicine man's advice. But I lacked protection and wor- 
ried all the time that I might do something wrong and get killed. Then 
I would think how fast the days went by, while in camp time would 
have passed so slowly, and I would forget my fears. 

For the last two days snow had fallen hard and riding was difficult. 
Plenty Bear and I were waiting for the men to meet us at a site we had 
chosen for the night. When they arrived we began building shelters 
against the wind and snow. While we were collecting brush, Hunts 
The Enemy asked me to kill a buffalo from a small herd we had spotted 
in a nearby valley. 

This made me angry. First he had appointed me his scout and now 
he wanted me as his hunter. I had brought my horse to chase enemies, 
I said. If he wanted me to kill buffalo he should give me another horse. 
I told him that he had plenty of men who had not had to ride as hard 
as I. One of them could do his hunting. 

Without answering me he sent someone else. But about the middle 
of the next day, when they had joined us again, he asked me to kill a 
buffalo. When I refused once more he said they could not fight if they 
were starving. He pointed out a hilltop and told me to scout the coun- 
try from there until they brought me something to eat. Before I rode 
out I asked Little Heart to cut some meat with plenty of fat to bring to 
me later. 

The sun had fallen halfway toward the west when I reached the 
hill. Nothing was in sight so I sat down to wait. When they arrived 
it was still a while before sunset but I was very hungry. 

Once again Hunts The Enemy asked me to kill one of the many 
buffalo in the lower valleys. After I refused he told me to stay at an- 
other hill all night so I could scout at sunrise. 

While we were sitting and talking Little Heart had walked my horse 
around. When I mounted up I noticed meat tied to the saddle. On my 
ride I ate buffalo roast and was glad Hunts The Enemy could not en- 
joy his little revenge. 

The sun was almost down when I reached the hill. Nothing was in 
sight to the west. Looking back I saw that our men had killed another 
buffalo and were making camp along a little stream hidden by cotton- 
wood trees. When it was dark I rode into the valley, picketed my 
horse, and slowly walked to camp until I saw my friends sitting around 
their fire. Someone stood up and I recognized Little Heart by his 
walk. After I whispered for more meat he waited until the others were 
asleep and brought me a large loin piece. I returned to my hilltop and 
slept until daylight. Then I signalled to Hunts The Enemy with my 
blanket that I would scout the country ahead and he signalled back to 
go on. I rode until I was far enough away to make a cooking fire. 

After tying the leftover cooked meat to my saddle I rode slowly 
until I located a well-hidden place. It was still early in the day when 
they arrived. Hunts The Enemy approved of the site and we built 
shelters. Again he wanted me to hunt and again I refused, saying I had 
not eaten for two days. Although I offered to go if he gave me food, 
he sent Little Heart who quickly returned with a two-year-old cow. 
Hunts The Enemy was in the trees when Little Heart rode in and I 
tied some choice parts to my saddle. Then I led my horse a little dis- 
tance from camp. As soon as Hunts The Enemy came back he pointed 
out another hill where I was to stand guard until nightfall. 

When I was out of sight I gathered dry snake brush and roasted my 
meat, leaving what was left in the hot coals to pick up on my return. 

For the remainder of the day I watched from that hilltop but saw 


nothing. It had snowed about two days, then it had cleared and grown 
warm, but now I saw clouds gathering in the west and moving east- 
ward. By the time I rode back it was raining. On my way I stopped 
to take my meat out of the coals. When I reached camp it was pouring 
down. The other men had hobbled their horses but I tied mine to a 
tree and joined them in a brush shelter. 

The next morning I was awakened by shouting. I thought the Pieg- 
ans were upon us and grabbed my gun. Dawn was just breaking and 
it was still raining. As I ran into the fog I saw Ten Bear untying my 
horse, Hunts The Enemy and the others around him. Their hobbled 
horses had run off during the storm. I told them that they had known 
about the storm. If the Piegans attacked I wanted my horse fresh. I told 
him to send men on foot to find their horses. 

While two men left we waited in our shelter. From the way they 
ran back into camp we could tell something was wrong. Ten Bear said 
they had followed the horse tracks along the river but when the fog 
had lifted a large Piegan camp appeared around a bend. Our horses had 
joined their herd. When the Piegans noticed those hobbled horses they 
would start a search. He said we would have to kill as many as possible 
before we died. 

I told Hunts The Enemy that I had not lent him my horse because 
he had not treated me right. But I said now I could save hiiiL When 
the Piegans came I would pretend to escape in one direction while they 
got away in another. 

He thanked me and after we arranged a meeting place they left im- 
mediately. Then I rode to see if the Piegans had discovered our horses. 

About the middle of the day I noticed excitement around their 
camp, men saddling horses and people running everywhere. About 
twenty Piegan warriors began riding along the river and more were 
trying to catch up with them. 

Hunts The Enemy had a good start and he was good at covering 
trails. I also knew my own horse. Riding as if I were trying to keep out 
of their sight, I soon heard a cry. The Piegans left the trees along the 
river and raced for me. 

I pretended to signal to men ahead and occasionally turned to shoot, 
but my arrows always fell short. They were singing war songs. As 
they came almost within bowshot I would top a ridge and whip my 
horse. When they appeared I was out of range again. Then I would 
ride slowly up the next ridge to rest my horse. But they were so eager 
they raced up and down and wore theirs out. 

One Piegan, riding a good horse, was far ahead of his friends. I could 
outrun him but decided to trick him. We were galloping through 
coulees and over hills, keeping an even distance between us. But he 
kept pulling away from his men. Then I entered the course of a dry 
creek. After passing many half bends I noticed a rocky point that made 
the bed turn sharply. Reining in on the other side, I tied my horse to a 
tree and crouched behind some bushes. As I strung my bow and pulled 
an arrow back I could hear his horse running on the dry stones. 

His eyes were searching for me as he came around. I hit him lower 
than I intended, my arrow going through his groin and pinning him 
to his horse, which screamed and fell. I ran down with my knife and he 
shouted something I did not understand. He tried to grab my arm as 
I stuck my knife into his stomach. While I was cutting his scalp I 
heard the other Piegans and had no time to pick up his weapons. Run- 
ning to my horse I sang a victory song and waved the scalp so they 
could see. The rest had done my horse good and it jumped up the 
coulee rim. By the time they discovered the body I was safely away, 
but still in sight. As I waved the scalp and sang, they shook their weap- 
ons and a few started after me. 

Then I decided to take no more chances. About sunset I lost sight 
of them in the distance. Long after dark I allowed my horse a little 
grass and water. After riding another day and another night I finally 
made a large half circle to our meeting place. Three days later, when 
I arrived, no one was there. I built a shelter, killed a fat buffalo, and 
waited. When they showed up two days later Hunts The Enemy 
treated me differently and gave me credit for the escape. I had to tell 
many times how I had killed the Piegan. They cut up the scalp, each 
man tied his piece to a long willow pole, and we danced the scalp 
dance around the fire. 

Then we talked over what to do. Some wanted to go home but 
Hunts The Enemy knew that I, his helper, would get the honors while 
he would be laughed at. He decided to return for our horses and 
to kill some Piegans. 

Mine was the only horse so I scouted again. We traveled carefully 
because the Piegans might still be out. During the night we walked 
along the river bottoms, sheltered by the big cottonwoods along the 
banks. In the daytime we hid. Finally, at dawn many days later, we 
arrived at the big bend in the river and hid in some willows in a coulee. 
Their tipis seemed to have moved across the river. Then we noticed 
we were between two camps, one on either side of the big bend. All 


day long people walked between them, using the path on their side 
of the river. 

Night came and no one had seen us. Walking from my hiding place I 
thought of the older men's advice not to go out before the right time. 
I made a vow that if I was not killed tonight I would do as they said. 

While we were eating dried pemmican Hunts The Enemy told us 
that since we were so few we would all enter the camp. Just as we 
were about to swim across he said my horse would make too much 
noise; he wanted me to cross above the camp and wait. Although I 
also wanted to capture horses he would not listen. They crossed with 
poles under their arms to avoid making noise. When I was far enough 
away I crossed on my horse and sat down to wait. 

Soon I saw many horses coming toward me. But when Hunts The 
Enemy divided them up he did not give me one. They had passed an- 
other herd which they were returning for. When I asked Hunts The 
Enemy to let me come he answered that I had no medicine and was 
only a helper. 

I said my medicine must have been with me when I drew the Piegans 
away and killed that man, but he ignored me. He took three men and 
they returned with more horses. When I asked for some he promised 
me two the next day. We quietly walked them away, but once out of 
hearing galloped them hard. As we were driving them home I grew an- 
gry and could not stop thinking that I was bringing no horses for my 
relatives. Finally I turned out of the group and rode back to the Piegan 

I would pull up to listen whether they had discovered our raid, but 
heard nothing until I approached their camp. Then dogs began bark- 
ing and I grew afraid. Dismounting, I prayed to the Great Above Per- 
son that I was poor and wanted horses. I said that I hoped to be a 
leader again and asked him to prevent the Piegans from hearing or 
seeing me. Even though I was not carrying my medicine, I sang my 
medicine song: "I want something good." 

The barking dogs did not seem to bother the Piegans. The night 
was clear and the stars very bright. After telling myself that my songs 
and prayers would help to bring me safely home I felt better. As I 
moved forward I saw dark shapes ahead. Horses were staring at me. 
Making sure they were unguarded, I rode slowly up, tied my belt to 
my horse, and led it into the Piegan herd. I noticed a big sorrel pinto 
mare and tied my rope around its mouth. Then I mounted it and turned 

my own horse into the herd. First I quietly walked them out and soon 
was far enough away to trot them. A little later I drove them into a 
hard gallop. Clouds began to cover the stars and I felt snow flurries in 
my face. Now I was not ashamed to be heading home. 

All through the night I kept them going fast and by morning I was 
far away, our tracks covered with snow. But I still did not head 
straight back; the Piegans would probably send men that way. Then 
the snow stopped, the sky cleared, and the sun was shining. I rode 
one horse until it played out, then turned it in with the rest and chose 
another. For the rest of that day and through that night I rode like 
that. Two horses were unable to keep up and I left them. I rode 
through the following day and at sunset, when I dismounted to look 
through my telescope, Hunts The Enemy and his men were ahead 
of me, driving their herd before them. But when I caught up I 
passed apart. 

Little Heart rode over and said a roan in my bunch belonged to his 
grandfather and if I returned it he would give rne ten good things. 
I told him that two days before they had treated me like a stranger, 
I had gone back alone and now they were strangers to me. 

Little Heart called out my name and asked if I loved my children. 
He promised to give me ten tanned buffalo robes with the heads left 
on for the horses. Then I had to give in because when someone asks 
if you love your children or your brother's children it is a sacred 

The others had joined us and I told Hunts The Enemy to take the 
gray mare. Then everyone wanted a horse but I gave away no more. 

Little Heart thought it would not look right if we returned sep- 
arately. After some talking I put my horses with their bunch and 
joined them. If I had reached camp first I would have been con- 
sidered the pipeholder. 

We did not stop that night nor the next night. For three days we 
had not eaten and were very hungry. When we finally discovered 
buffalo I told Hunts The Enemy that before I was going to be a pipe- 
holder and they had talked me out of it. Now, I said, I would be their 
helper and kill their meat. 

Running close to one small herd, I picked out a fat cow and shot it. 
I cut out both rib pieces and started a fire. The men ate and I roasted 
some extra meat to pack with us. When we mounted the sun was 
down. After riding all night we ate again at dawn, rested a little, and 


reached the prairie country about the middle of the day. Then we 
traveled a little easier and at dusk stopped to sleep above Crooked 
Arm's camp on Yellow Willow Creek. 

As the sun was rising we drove our stolen horses into the camp, 
shooting our rifles into the air and singing: "We are here. We went 
by there. The last one was better than the first." 

Everyone greeted us with singing. That night a great victory cele- 
bration was held and we all dressed in our finest clothes. Then we had 
a scalp dance for the man I had killed. My name was mentioned in 
the songs, but Hunts The Enemy received most of the praise. 

My brother was staying there and I gave him ten horses. He kept 
some and gave the rest to his friends. My own tipi was in Two Belly's 
camp on the Bighorn River, and after a few days' rest I returned there 
and gave a good black horse to Sees The Living Bull, leaving about 
ten for my own herd. 

After I had told my medicine father everything he called me his 
son and told me not to pretend to be a helper or a boy if I wanted 
to become a chief. He said that everyone would hear Hunts The 
Enemy's name even though I had done braver things. 

This was true, and I had already made that vow. Besides, green- 
grass season was not far off. I waited in camp for the time when I 
hoped Sees The Living Bull would give me his most powerful medi- 


Chapter Twenty-Four 

During the winter Sees The Living Bull had devoted four 

consecutive nights to introducing Two Leggings and his 'wife 

to the members of his Tobacco society chapter. 

Months later, on the morning after the tobacco planting, an 

adoption lodge was erected of ten large pine trunks in tipi shape. 

Within a preparatory lodge Sees The Living Bull painted 

and dressed Two Leggings; his wife did the same for Two 

Leggings 7 'wife. Separated from them by a line of sacred tobacco 

seed bags, a dozen drummers 'were beating to imitate the 

thunder. Other society members jammed into the remaining area. 

The painting completed, the women began to shuffle out 

in single file. Sees The Living Bull and his 'wife brought up 

the rear, escorting Two Leggings and his 'wife. The procession 

moved slowly, stopping four times while the participants danced 

in place. After all were sitting within the adoption lodge, 

a famous warrior ran out and shortly returned with water, 

representing the report of a returning war party. Then relays 

of dancers began to perform. At a noon intermission Two 

Leggings 3 fellow Lumpwoods piled up the initiation fee of 

blankets and war shirts. Since Two Leggings had joined to obtain 

Sees The Living Bull's medicine, he did not exercise his right 

to any of the other members* medicines. Later that afternoon, 

when the dancing was over, the drummers raised their sticks, 

everyone else little willow sprigs, to encourage the growth 

of the sacred tobacco. 

THE MELTING SNOW CAME, followed by the grass-growing season. 
My wife and I packed our belongings and traveled to the Mountain 


Crows where Sees The Living Bull had moved. After waiting one 
day I picketed my white horse, loaded with presents, by my tipi door. 
Then I invited my medicine father for a smoke. When he came I told 
him that the presents and horse were his. I asked him to adopt me 
during a Tobacco Dance which I had heard would be held in three 
days. Calling him father, I said that although he had showed me many 
things I still had not received what I wanted most. I asked him to give 
me or make me one of his medicines so I could bring back more horses 
and scalps. 

For a long time he would not answer. Finally he said that if I had 
patience he would give me a pipe so I could be a pipeholder. He re- 
minded me that he was not medicine himself, that it was the Great 
Above Person who gave all medicines. But he promised to give me 
some of the Great Above Person's medicine and to teach me many 
things. In seven days there would be a full moon. I was to visit him 
then and he would build a sweat lodge and do something for me. 

The next morning the Mountain Crows broke carnp and went down 
Elk River to meet the River Crows for the planting of the tobacco. 
On the way Sees The Living Bull and I struck camp with them in 
the mountains. We traveled no farther because the River Crows 
joined us there. During the celebration of the tobacco planting Sees 
The Living Bull adopted me, I was very happy. Now he could not 
refuse me. 

On the sixth day I brought Sees The Living Bull a beautiful Hudson 
Bay blanket, a buckskin shirt, leggings, moccasins, and a buckskin- 
colored horse. I was poor, I said, and asked him to have pity on me. 
1 promised him everything I owned if only he would give me his 
powerful medicine. 

He answered that since I wanted this so badly he would give me 
all he had. The following morning I was to cut one hundred and four 
willows and he would teach me how to make a sweat lodge. Then I 
was to bring twenty-four more for a separate sweat lodge. He also 
wanted seven stones, a long cottonwood pole, seven buffalo chips, 
red paint, charcoal, sweet grass, bear root, and a red blanket. He told 
me to begin the sweat lodge by digging a hole elbow-deep for the 
hot stones. Then I was to plant the first willow in the ground one full 
step from this hole and continue the other hundred and three in a 
circle around the hole. Finally he told me its location. 

By dawn I had cut all the willows and had collected the other things 
at the lodge site. I dug the center hole and piled dirt around the edge 

so It looked like a prairie-dog mound. With my fingers I traced little 
trails in the pile to represent prairie-dog paths and covered them with 
powdered charcoal which meant success in war. Sees The Living 
Bull arrived in time to help me plant the willows in the ground. Then 
I intertwined their branches to form the roof frame and left a door 
space facing east. We covered the entire frame with buffalo hides, 
the last being a large robe with the head on, which faced the east. 
Finally I dug a hole west of the lodge for the long cottonwood pole. 

Sees The Living Bull had me invite seven medicine men to assist 
in the ceremony: Little Face, Burns Himself, Face Turned Round, 
Bird Has A Shirt, Tobacco, Neck Bone, and Little Belt, because they 
had dreamt many dreams. After I had visited their tipis they walked 
up to our sweat lodge. Neck Bone was just about to enter when Cuts 
The Turnip arrived and told Sees The Living Bull that if he loved 
his children he would let him enter this sweat lodge. 

Sees The Living Bull gave his consent but told me later that he had 
invited seven men because the number represented the dipper, one of 
his medicines. He had hoped that while they were inside he would 
receive a vision. By spoiling that number Cuts The Turnip had dis- 
turbed his medicine spirit. Cut The Turnip should have known better 
but Sees The Living Bull could not turn him away. 

As I raised the door a fourth time for Neck Bone he called me his 
child and said that he had seen a snow-covered ground showing many 
tracks. He hoped I would live until then and bring home many horses. 

When I raised the door for Burns Himself he called me his child 
and said he had seen the leaves turn yellow and hoped I would live 
until then. 

Then Face Turned Round said he had seen a returning war party 
driving four captured horses. One was a fine bay and he wished me 
to have it before the leaf-turning season. 

Bird Has A Shirt was last and his dream showed a war party return- 
ing from the Sioux country. Leading it was a fine warrior carrying 
a scalp from the end of a long pole. This man was singing and rode 
a beautiful captured roan horse. Bird Has A Shirt called me his son 
and hoped I would be that warrior. 

. The other three men and Cuts The Turnip entered without a word. 
During their sweat bath Sees The Living Bull and I waited outside. 
After a while I filled a pipe and passed it in. As each man smoked he 
pointed the stem to the sky and then to the ground, asking the Great 
Above Person to give me success on the warpath, plenty of game, 


good health, and a long life. When they came out some younger men 
took baths in the same lodge. 

I had already given Sees The Living Bull the red blanket. Now he 
spread it on the ground and with charcoal painted a black circle in 
the middle and a disc above that, representing the sun and moon. 
Holding the blanket up to the sun he told the White Man Above In 
The Sky, the moon, and all the stars that I was giving them this red 
blanket. Again he called to the sun, his father, and said that he was 
giving me this sweat lodge and asked him to help me if I needed any- 

After his prayers he had it announced in camp that he wished to see 
all the children. When they arrived each child rubbed himself with 
the blanket. Then it was tied to the top of the pole I had planted on 
the west side of the lodge. Sees The Living Bull told the sun that now 
the blanket belonged to him. 

Sees The Living Bull invited me to his tipi early the next morning 
to receive a medicine he would make. The other sweat lodge of 
twenty-four willows which I had built close to the larger one was 
left for the following day. 

In the morning some medicine men were already in his tipi: Two 
Belly, Crazy Wolf, Sees Under, Crooked Arm, Scar On The Mouth, 
Face Turned Round, Burns Himself, Hesitates, and Neck Bone. 

When I sat down Sees The Living Bull began to tell us about his 
own medicine dream and his first raid. This was his story. 

I fasted in the same place four times, staying four days each time. 
But it was not until the last of these fasts that I met my medicine 
father. Early the fifth morning a person rose above the horizon until 
I saw his entire body. As he walked toward me, fires burst out where 
he stepped. At last he stood next to me and delivered the message 
that Bird Going Up was coming to me. 

He was wearing strange moccasins, the left upper made from a 
silver fox's head, the right from a coyote's head. The ears had been 
left and scalp locks were tied around the moccasins' edges. The right 
heel was painted black and the left red. The man wore a beautiful war 
shirt trimmed with scalp locks along the arms, and his leggings were 
decorated with horsehair scalp locks from the manes of different- 
colored horses. 

A little rain woke me and my dream became a real vision. My dream 

person was standing next to me when I heard the little coyote head 
on his moccasin howling. When the fox on the other moccasin barked, 
flames blew from its mouth. 1 kept trying to see if this man's face was 
painted but it was hidden. He carried a coup stick with a raven sitting 
on it. This raven tried to teach me the language of the birds but the 
man stopped it. Suddenly I heard a loud thunderclap. I seemed to be 
picked up and dropped while my blanket was thrown in the opposite 
direction. Landing unhurt on the mountain slope with my head down- 
hill, I saw a bird's big tail and large claws, but could not see the body. 
Red streaks of lightning shot from each claw, leaving trails on the 
rocks. I noticed hailstones on the bird's spread-out tail. As the rain 
turned into fog I tried to see the bird's head but lightning flashes 
crossed in front of it. My dream person told me that this bird was 
great, that the noise from its throat sounded like thunder. The 
raven on the coup stick said that I was to have had many visions but 
that the messenger prevented him from giving them. It meant my 
dream person, the real messenger from Bird Going Up who was 
giving me all these visions. Then the raven disappeared and I looked 
again at my dream person. A large red circle was painted on his face, 
broken by two other circles scratched into the red paint. The raven 
returned to its perch on the coup stick and my dream person told 
me that Bird Going Up had told him not to let the raven teach me the 
language of the birds. Instead, he said, he would teach me some of his 
medicine songs and sang the first one: "The bird is saying this: Wher- 
ever we are, nothing may be in our way." 

After each song he blew several times on an eagle-bone whistle. 
The second song was: "The bird is gone. I will let him return and 
watch over you." 

The third song went: "I am letting him stay. I am letting him stay." 

He sang the fourth song: "I am going toward human beings and 
they are weak." 

His fifth song was: "The bird from the sky will take care of you." 

He sang his sixth song: "Wherever I am going, I say this: I am the 
Bird of the world." 

His last song went: "My child, I am living among the clouds and 
there is nothing impossible for me." 

When my dream man finished the seven songs he pointed east, say- 
ing that people there would make me suffer. Whatever direction I 
looked he said he could tell me what was there. 

Pointing west he asked if I saw a burning mountain. I saw it but did 


not understand Its meaning. My dream person told me never to go 
to the Flathead or Shoshoni country. 

A strong wind came up and I watched my blanket blow away. 
When I turned back my dream man was gone. I was wide awake and 
the sun was already high in the sky. As I started home my feet were 
very sore and I felt weak. More than two days later I came upon 
White Mouth near the village. He said many people thought I had 
been killed by a bear and were mourning my death. He was my rela- 
tive and as we walked back together asked why I tortured myself so 
much. He said I knew I would not live forever. There were many 
like myself who were poor and had large families, but he said they did 
not torture themselves. He kept talking that way but I made no an- 
swer. The hunters had just returned with fresh meat and he told me 
to eat some in my grandmother's tipi. 

The news spread that I was back and many came to visit. After 
talking to them I greased the soles of my feet and slept. The follow- 
ing morning White Mouth invited me to eat in his tipi. After our 
meal he told me again not to starve or torture myself. Still I did not 
answer. He agreed to pass on my request that everyone bring a 
willow branch until I had forty-four and that they should also collect 
firewood. He went outside and soon I could hear the camp crier 
speaking to the people. When I had the willows and firewood I was 
asked if I had any further instructions. I told the people to build four 
sweat lodges in a row with openings to the east and west. In front of 
the first lodge they were to pile firewood because we would take our 
bath there. I had them plant a long pole near that lodge's eastern 

Everyone helped me build those sweat lodges. When they were 
made I told the people to follow me and led the men, women, and 
children into the eastern opening of the first lodge and out the west- 
ern opening. As I led them through the second, third, and fourth 
lodges the people laid presents on the sweat lodge frames and also 
tied a piece of cloth and other presents to the long pole. Coming out 
of the fourth lodge I turned right, walked back to the eastern entrance 
of the first lodge, and announced for anyone wanting a sweat bath 
to prepare himself, 

Has A Red Feather On The Side Of His Head, 1 our chief, told me 
that he had been watching over our people for many years and now 
was growing old. He said he had seen these lodges and believed I had 
received a powerful vision. I did not tell him what I had seen. He 

hoped that sometime I would be able to look after our people but 
advised me to marry and make a home for myself. 

I still did not reply but thought I should do as he said. A few days 
later we broke camp and moved down Powder River where we 
pitched our tipis again. There I heard that Not Dangerous was going 
on a raid and decided to try out my medicine. It was the moon when 
the leaves turn yellow and I had seen my vision in the moon when 
the chokecherries ripen. Not Dangerous asked if I had made my medi- 
cine bundle and I told him no. But I also told him that before my last 
fast I had dreamt of a gray horse near Red River (in the Black Hills 
country) and the time had been when the leaves turn yellow. 

He had seen me build the four sweat lodges and make the ceremony 
for the whole camp to share. He had faith in my medicine and said that 
we would travel toward the horse in my dream. 

He appointed me chief scout. After traveling for several days I had 
a dream. Before sunrise the next morning I told the five other scouts 
that we would bring good news to our leader. By the time the sun 
was a man's height above the horizon we had discovered some Sioux 
chasing buffalo in a valley. We knew they could not move before 
their animals had been skinned so we raced back to Not Dangerous. 
He was so pleased he offered me his title as pipeholder, but I could 
not accept. While we waited for the sun to rise higher our men pre- 
pared their medicines and sang their medicine songs. I was the only 
one without medicine and just carried a buffalo-hide rope. When Not 
Dangerous asked what I was going to do with it I answered that I was 
going to capture many horses. His expression showed he thought I 
was a powerful man. Everyone was ready but we traveled slowly and 
did not reach the hilltop until after sunset. In the distance we could 
see their fires. 

Saying I was looking for my horse, I began to follow a coulee not 
far from their camp, keeping in the shadows. Around a bend I saw a 
dark shape and thought first it was a guard. But it was a horse and I 
tied my rope around its mouth. 

As I led it up the coulee I discovered another horse which I mounted, 
leading the gray closer to the Sioux camp. Soon I came upon a large 
bunch, grazing quietly and unguarded. Riding around until I was 
between them and the campfires I began to walk them out. When I 
was far enough away I drove them into a run. As I met our men I told 
Not Dangerous to divide the bunch up, but that I would keep the 


We left immediately and arrived safely in our village above the 
present Crow Agency. 

Everyone believed I had some great medicine. But in dreams later 
on I was given an even greater medicine. It is the rock with many 
faces which my wife found and which has given me powerful visions. 2 

Sees The Living Bull then taught me those seven songs and I never 
forgot them. When he finished he said he wanted me to take his horse 
and ride east until I had reached the top of Bushy Pine Hill. If I did 
not find a dead eagle there I should turn right and ride to the top of 
Red Top Hill south of camp. If I found nothing there I was to ride 
to West Hill west of camp. If I still had no luck I should ride north 
to Cherry Hill. If my entire search was unsuccessful he said I would 
not become a pipeholder or a medicine man. 

It was a beautiful day. When I reached the top of Bushy Pine Hill 
I looked into the valley with our tipis and lines of smoke rising to the 
sky. Soon I would do things to make me a great warrior and a chief. 
My medicine father had also said that I might become a medicine 
man. I made a prayer for success to the Great Above Person and to 
the sun. Somehow I never thought I might fail. Galloping down the 
slope I rode through a little stream and into the valley. As I searched 
the ground for the eagle I saw six men sitting and smoking on the 
side of West Hill, Yellow Crane, Three Wolves, Shot In The Hand, 
Nursing, Chicken Hawk Cap, and Bucket Leg. I rode up and noticed 
a spotted eagle dead on the ground and immediately told them that 
I had come for it. When Three Wolves asked if I had left it there I 
explained that Sees The Living Bull was going to make me a medicine 
and had sent me for an eagle. I asked if they had shot it or touched it, 
but they had just arrived. When they allowed me to take whatever 
part I needed I was very happy. I dismounted, pulled out the two 
middle feathers of the tail, and rode to my medicine father's tipi. 

When I handed them to him he said he had expected the whole 
bird. I described the six men sitting nearby and said that I was glad 
they let me have a part. 

Sees The Living Bull said he would make a great medicine that 
would permit me to go out as a war leader. He told me to walk around 
camp and bring him a raven, or a small red fox, or a coyote. He gave 
me my choice, saying that a raven medicine would mean any bird 
could tell me where to find the enemy. A red fox medicine would not 

be very powerful but would give me that animal's cunning. A coyote 
medicine would bark and bite, and those noises would become a hu- 
man voice leading me to horses. But if I wanted to be a powerful chief 
he advised me to take the eagle-tail medicine. 

Another man asked Sees The Living Bull what medicine he had 
made for Red Bear and he answered an eagle medicine. They all agreed 
I had been going on raids without much luck and that if I continued 
without a proper medicine I might lose some men. If I took this eagle- 
tail medicine which my medicine father was willing to make, they 
would feel I was going to be successful. 

Sees The Living Bull asked if I wanted a red circle on my face or 
a half circle painted over my forehead with the ends reaching from 
jawbone to jawbone. He also asked if I wanted my eyelids and lips 
painted red. When I narrowed my eyes the red lids would mean light- 
ning, the power to see the enemy before they saw me. The red lips 
meant that my medicine songs would be more powerful. I wanted the 
red circle for the sun and also the red eyelids and red lips. 

Then Sees The Living Bull lit a sweet-grass smudge and purified 
his hands and face. After painting them he reached for his medicine 
and opened it. On one side of the rock was a human head and under 
it a buffalo head. On the other side were the heads of an eagle and 
a horse. When it was completely opened he told me that he was my 
father but that this rock was my grandfather to whom I should pray. 

When I finished praying he took a small rock from the bundle and 
said it was the large rock's child. He picked up a small tobacco medi- 
cine bag and told his wife to tie a small buckskin wrapper around the 
rock child. After tying it to the medicine bag he placed the bag on 
different-colored pieces of cloth which he said were the clouds. He 
sewed a weasel skin and a horse tail to the eagle tail and laid this before 
him together with an eagle claw. 

Sees The Living Bull said that I thought I was now a chief but I was 
not. However, he said he would give me something to make me a chief. 
When he had finished he said I could go anywhere and not be afraid. 

Laying each medicine down, he sang the song belonging to it. Then 
he painted a red circle on his face and a red streak on his eyelids 
and lips. He said if I chose the eagle medicine I must paint a red streak 
over my eyes. For the rock medicine I was to paint my mouth red 
and for the tobacco medicine I must paint a red circle on my face. 
The streak over my eyes meant I could always see the enemy; the 
red over my mouth, good luck and plenty to eat. The red circle on my 


face was the red clouds. If I saw a ring around the sun or moon or 
stars I should paint myself like that because it represented all three. 
The paint had been given to him by the star which always stands 
close to the moon. After I had my medicine, he said, I would never 
fear bad dreams. I could go my way and bring back horses and give 
him his share. 

He wrapped some red paint in a paint bag. He told me that the 
earth was everlasting but that things on this earth do not last long. 
However, I would live to be an old man. Then he painted the rest 
of his face and body with red paint. 

He promised to give me the eagle tail for a medicine and also an 
eagle head. Whenever I saw this kind of eagle flying high in the sky 
I would notice smaller birds flying around it. He promised to include 
one in my medicine. 

After showing me a blackbird, a redheaded woodpecker, and a spar- 
row, he asked which I wanted on top of my medicine. I chose the 
blackbird since these birds are usually found with horses. A man with 
their medicine always takes the lead on a horse raid. 

I walked to a place where blackbirds were swarming and killed 
one with a stone. When I returned Face Turned Round took the 
bird, skinned it, and gave the skin to Sees The Living Bull, who then 
told me to bring 'him three hairs from a horse's tail or mane. Again I 
walked out and when I met Fox driving some horses I asked for a few 
mane hairs. He told me to come with him to the river and there I 
recognized a mouse-colored horse, one of the fastest of the tribal- 
owned horses. 3 Fox gave me permission to cut a few mane and tail 
hairs. In the tipi Sees The Living Bull asked if they had been taken 
from a mare or a stallion. After I described the horse he approved and 
sent me out for different-colored beads. When I returned he asked 
if I wanted my wife to string them. But I said that I would do it since 
she might not always be mine, while this medicine would stay with 
me always. 

Stuffing the blackbird's head with bighorn sheep hair, he mixed in 
some sweet grass and a little horsehair. He placed the rest of the 
horsehair in the beak, painting two pink spots on each end to represent 
different-colored horses. Between two strips of weasel skin which he 
had tied to the eagle-tail feathers, he wrapped my string of black, 
white, and yellow beads, representing the clouds. 

When Sees The Living Bull finished these preparations he undressed 

to his breechcloth and moccasins and told me to do likewise. We 
knelt facing east in the middle of the tipi, I on his right and the old 
men sitting around us. Handing me his famous rock medicine, he told 
me to press it to my heart. He mixed some pink paint with water 
and sweet grass and rubbed it all over his body and smeared it on my 
hair. Then he painted a red circle on my face and painted my eyes 
and lips red. Finally he fastened the eagle tail to my hair and gave me 
an eagle-bone whistle. 

When he had fasted on that high mountain peak he said his vision 
person had been painted as he had painted me now. What he had 
seen was better than my vision which had caused my bad luck. But 
though my dreams had not been powerful, he said now they would 
change. Before I had only seen shadows, but now I would see real 
things. He said that when a spirit person appeared in my dream I 
would notice how he had painted himself. He said he was almost 
finished. After singing me a song he was going to raise the eagle tail 
to my eyes and under it I might see a horse or a body. 

After blowing his eagle-bone whistle he asked how many times he 
had blown it and I answered seven. He told me to remember that 
number. On the warpath I was to blow my whistle seven times before 
singing. Then he sang: "Whenever I go, I shall see them." 

Whistling four times he raised the eagle tail and looked under it. 
He held it before my eyes and I saw hair hanging down which dis- 
appeared when I looked closer. 

When I told him this he said I should go to Musselshell River when 
the leaves turn yellow and continue to Where The Lightning Strikes 
on the other side of Big River. There I would kill an enemy and would 
see another lying on his back whom I was also to kill. 

Giving me some dried pine needles, he taught me more songs to 
sing during my raid. He also gave me his pipe and told me to put away 
my own. Whenever I went on a raid he said one of my men should 
carry this pipe before me. Then the enemy would think it was night 
and not see us. 

My medicine father said he had shown me real things. I was to fast 
again, leaving my medicine behind and waiting on a high hill for my 
spirit man. My first war party would be to the Musselshell River and 
there I would find the scalps he had described. Before I left he prom- 
ised to tell me where to camp each night. If I wanted to be successful 
and justify his trust, he said, I must follow all this. 


Finally he taught me one more song which gave me the power to 
nake rain. While I escaped ahead of the downpour an enemy would 
DC slowed down. 

It was dark when I returned to my tipi. At last I had received a 
medicine. At last I was a real pipeholder, known to everyone. Now 
[ had to show I could hold the respect of these sacred men. Although 
it would be awhile before I could test my powers, this time the wait- 
ing was not so hard. 


Chapter Twenty-Five 

Calculating -from Two Leggings* occasionally broken sequence 

of seasons, the hunts described in this chapter probably took 

place around 1869-70. In 1872 Agent F. D. Pease's report listed 

2,700 Mountain Crows and 1^400 River Crows, many 'mouths 

to -feed from the already thinning herds. At this time the 

Government was still permitting the Crows to hunt at will, 

though pressuring them to return to the reservation once the 

summer's kills were over. 

One early record of a Crow camp's summer roaming after 

the herds describes them on the move jorty -seven out of 

seventy-six days and covering a median distance of nine and a 

half miles per day. 'Following the courses of streams, they 

halted because of rain, because of serious illness, to pasture 

horses, to hunt and prepare hides and meat, and to settle 

disagreements over routes to follow. 

During the winter, when the bands probably broke up into 

smaller residential groups, men often hunted in small parties 

or alone, as Two Leggings has done earlier. Even after the 

Crows had horses they used the old method of the buffalo 

drive. Having surrounded a herd, they either drove the animals 

into a corral at the foot of a bank and shot them at leisure 

or stampeded them off a cliff. An early nineteenth-century 

account numbers seven hundred buffalo killed in one such 

drive. But most communal hunts from horseback netted several 

hundred animals. 

SOON AFTER RECEIVING my medicine I returned to the River Crow 
camp and waited to go on a raid. One day Two Belly invited eleven 


of us to his tipi. He lit the pipe and passed it around and after we had 
smoked we talked. He wanted to move to our winter quarters and 
had chosen Little Tipi Creek close to the Buffalo Heart Mountain. 
I thought it a little early and Big Lake and Red Hail agreed. But most 
of the men wanted to go and the move was planned for the new moon. 

After our meeting I visited Big Lake and Red Hail. We decided 
that when camp moved we would hunt in another direction. Every- 
one was short of supplies and I thought we should collect sufficient 
provisions before leaving for winter camp. 

Five days later I woke to the camp crier ordering the people to 
pull down their tipis. Women began packing their robes and house- 
hold goods on horses which the men were bringing in from the pas- 
tures. The remaining supplies were stored in parfleches and loaded on 
travois drawn by horses or dogs. 1 Finally the tipis were taken down 
and packed and the poles tied in equal bundles on either side of a 

The morning was bright and clear. The camp leader, whose name 
I have forgotten, sang his medicine song and prayed for success on 
the march and for plenty of game in the new location. As he rode 
with his camp leader's medicine unwrapped and tied to his shoulder, 
the people fell in line behind him, all singing. 

It made me a little sorry to leave, but then I thought of the hunting 
ahead and forgot about it. As planned, I branched off at a little creek. 
Red Hail and Big Lake followed with their households, while the main 
party continued along the river. 

We were heading for the hilly southern country where we had 
discovered a large buffalo herd some days before. In the clear air 
the Bighorn Mountains seemed only a short ride away. The first 
winter snows already showed on their upper slopes, and the cotton- 
wood trees along the creek bottoms were starting to lose their leaves. 
No birds sang in the air, and the sagebrush and grass had turned the 
colors of leaf-falling season. But the weather was still warm. 

Then we noticed three men riding to catch up with us. Before they 
got close I recognized Two Belly and could tell he was angry. He 
began scolding us right away. 

I explained that because of the lack of supplies and the early season 
I wanted to store enough meat before leaving for winter camp. Close 
by, I said, were enough buffalo to feed everyone. 

Two Belly said I should have told him before. I had been selfish and 
had not thought of our hungry women and children. If we returned 

with him, he said, they would prepare for a hunt the next day in 
which I would be leader. 

Later that afternoon, after the three of us had rejoined the camp, 
the men met in a large circle. Several pipes were lit and passed around. 
Two Belly asked me to tell his people where I had discovered the 
large herd. 

When I finished he stood up again and suggested we leave the 
older men, women, and children with enough warriors for their 
protection while we led the rest on one or two big hunts. 

Everyone agreed and the women were told to set up camp along 
the creek bottom. Before sundown we arrived at the place where I 
had seen the herds. After telling them where to camp I sent scouts to 
locate the animals, warning them to stay far enough away as they 
watched through the night. Two Belly had ridden with us and now 
he asked if I was going to make a buffalo-hunting medicine. I had no 
right to make such a medicine and should have asked a real medicine 
man for help, but I was too proud. 

I told them to bring me seven buifalo chips which I laid in a row. 
Facing east, I asked for a pipe. After it was handed to me I lit it and 
prayed for success. Then I stuck an eagle feather upright in my hair, 
telling the hunters I was making medicine for a good wind the next 
day. As I held my forelock I said they could decide. If I bent it left 
the wind would blow from there, and if I pointed it forward or back- 
ward the wind would blow from those directions. I said that if I blew 
pipe smoke behind me there would be a strong wind. If the wind blew 
toward the buffalo as we approached I promised to make medicine 
again, but if it blew toward us I would not do anything. 

Two Belly said he would rather not have any wind and told me to 
put my forelock straight up if I thought that would make us successful. 

After doing this I drew a mouthful of smoke and blew slowly into 
the hollow of my hands. I told the men to be ready the next morning 
and said there would be little or no wind. 

Long before dawn everyone was awake and we brought in the 
horses. We led our saddle horses and buffalo runners so they would be 
fresh, and rode the pack horses. Two Belly warned the hunters to 
ride slowly or the buffalo would hear them. During the night, riders 
had kept in contact with the scouts. 

There were about a hundred and fifty of us. I was supposed to be 
the leader and rode ahead. No one knew how worried I was. The 
wind was behind us from the south and the buffalo were reported 


straight north. I overheard some men talking about my kind of medi- 
cine man. When Two Belly rode alongside and asked what I intended 
doing I grew scared. But I told him that as soon as we reached a cer- 
tain ridge he would be satisfied. 

I did not have the power to say the wind would change. I only 
hoped the buffalo had strayed so we could change direction. 

As we approached the hill I thought how wrongly I had acted. I 
knew it would be the end to my future if I let anyone suspect me. 
But I made a vow to the Great Above Person that if my make-believe 
medicine worked I would buy a proper buffalo medicine and sacrifice 
to him. Men rode up to ask me things but I ignored them, praying 
that something would change. 

When we were within gunshot of the rimrock base the wind sud- 
denly died down. Finally we reached the foot and I led my horse up 
the narrow trail that curved to the top where a scout waited. Still 
there was no wind. I looked back and saw the line of our men like a 
snake behind me. Nearing the top, I noticed a little dust cloud blown 
toward us by a northern breeze. 

I thanked the Great Above Person, repeating my vow and prom- 
ising never to do such a thing again. 

A scout ran down to report the buffalo grazing quietly on the 
northern side of a rimrock a little distance away. Now it was safe to 
ride to another rimrock. Two Belly was beside me and said that I 
was a powerful medicine man and that when he died I would take his 
place. He had doubted my power in the morning, he said, but now he 
was sure of me. I nodded my head and rode on. 

On the flat top we got off our pack horses and mounted our buffalo 
runners. A sloping prairie led to the foot of the next rimrock. The 
buffalo were grazing on the other side. I told my men to follow me 
at a slow trot and then everyone could hunt as he wanted. From the 
next rimrock we saw the huge herd grazing only two rifle shots away. 

Riding into the middle of them I was quickly alongside a fat two- 
year-old cow and about to shoot when my horse stepped into a badger 
hole. I did a complete turn in the air and rolled away as three buffalo 
raced by. If I had not been on the herd's edge I would have been killed. 
My horse had also landed on its back but managed to get to its feet. 
It was frightened and when I grabbed for the bridle it jerked away 
and chased the buffalo. 

The men passed me, some asking about my horse and others just 

laughing. Then I was alone with the buffalo carcasses. Soon the hunters 
returned and began skinning and butchering their animals. I recog- 
nized Two Belly and Big Lake with about five other men. There 
was nothing to do but walk up. 

As I was explaining why I was on foot Curley rode by, calling out 
that my horse was running wild among the buffalo. I thanked him but 
could do nothing. Big Lake offered one of his four buffalo and I 
thanked him and started skinning. I had no horse to carry the meat 
and asked Big Lake if he could bring my pack horse. All the time I 
had to listen to people talking about this medicine man who was 
hunting and skinning without a horse. I paid no attention when they 
asked how many more buffalo I intended to MIL Big Lake finally 
returned and I loaded my meat. 

My wife wanted to know why I had returned without the hide and 
where I had left my horse. Her sister was living with us, and although 
they did not say anything I knew what they thought about so little 
meat. A cousin of mine returned late in the evening with my horse. 
He had seen my fall and had caught it in the herd. He started saying 
unpleasant things because he had lost the chance to hunt himself. I 
had to give him a present for recovering the horse. I felt properly 

Soon afterward I completed my vow and bought a powerful buffalo- 
hunting medicine from one of our medicine men, explaining that my 
last hunt had brought me such bad luck I was afraid my own medicine 
was not powerful enough. 

Then I felt ready to make my name good again. Although I was 
still being teased I told no one about my new hunting medicine. 

About six days after that unlucky hunt the meat and hides had 
dried and we traveled along the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains, 
camping at the Black Buttes. Scouts were sent in different directions 
and returned in two days with news of many buffalo close by. Then 
I told my friends that I would be leader again, built a sweat lodge, 
and invited the older people. 

My medicine was an eagle feather painted with six white spots 
giving me the power to direct the wind. After the proper ceremony 
the wind would blow from the direction pointed by the feather in 
my hair. The six spots meant that the owner could cause a sudden 
hailstorm between himself and a pursuing enemy. Later I used the 
feather many times and it always worked. 


Two Belly had announced that we would stay there long enough 
to dry the meat and hides. Now we hoped to kill enough to last us 
through the winter. This rime I did not worry. 

Long before the sun rose we set out. The skin tipis were still lit 
up from the fires inside. The morning was frosty and the leaves made 
noise under our horses' hooves. We rode silently and at sunup ar- 
rived on a hilltop with a wide view of the prairie. Four or five gun- 
shots ahead a small group of buffalo bulls were grazing quietly along 
a little creek, and farther on the country was black with them. A 
strong wind blew into our faces. We would be able to ride right 
among them before they smelled us. I heard many approving words 
about the medicine I had made for this hunt. A few friends told me 
to hold on to my horse, but I did not mind. 

We changed to our buffalo horses and I tied my bridle to my belt 
with an extra piece of thong. When we all raced into the herd I chased 
a young bull. As I was aiming my gun the bull ran into my horse. The 
thong broke and I was on the ground, my eyes and mouth filled with 
dust. My friends behind had trouble avoiding me. I felt miserable and 
realized I was still being punished. 

Someone caught my horse and even before I could clean the dirt 
from my eyes I was riding after buffalo again. I killed several and my 
wife was happy when she saw the hides and meat. 

The following day Two Belly invited me and some other friends 
to his tipi. During our smoke they made fun of me, wondering 
whether I had asked my horse if it had been hurt and if it had asked 
me the same question. They said that at the next hunt I should make 
medicine and then stay home while hired boys killed my animals. But 
the hunt had been successful and although I was teased they felt my 
medicine had been powerful. 

Soon after that Stands Among Them, Clear On The Forehead, 
Female Face, and I were hunting and located a group of old bulls and 
two younger ones. We decided to let the old bulls escape because their 
meat would be too tough. But before we had circled them one old 
bull smelled us, stopped grazing, and stared in our direction. Then it 
kicked dirt back with its front hooves and led the others racing down 
a coulee toward Elk River. We were right behind as they followed a 
flat bordering the river. The bank grew into a steep mud bluff and 
they could not escape into the hills. Female Face rode between the 
river and the buffalo, driving them against these banks. When they 

passed a small ravine the old bull thought he had found an opening 
and led his herd into it. But the ravine was a dead end with dirt walls 
on three sides. The old bull began tearing out great chunks of earth 
with his horns. The others milled around while we closed in. 

Suddenly a young bull broke away. One man shot and missed as it 
made for the river. I was a little in the rear and jumped off my horse, 
kneeling to shoot. When it rushed me I tried to reach my horse but 
the bull had scared it off. Then I stumbled over a rock and fell, my 
rifle landing out of reach. The buffalo snorted and came at me. I 
prayed to my medicine and the Great Above Person and thought how 
much better it would have been to die fighting. As I caught sight of 
its red eyes, its head lowered onto me. My wind was knocked out 
and I thought I was dead. I felt my soul start on the journey to the 
Other Side Camp. 

When I came back to myself I thought I was riding a bucking 
horse and was confused. Sweat seemed to cover me. Then I woke. 
The buffalo's horn had only hooked under my belt. When it raised 
its head to gore me again it had felt my weight and had run for the 
river. Now it stood in shallow water, swinging me up and down and 
ducking me each time. The water had woken me but I was kept under 
so long I felt I was drowning. Each time the buffalo shook its head the 
curve of its horn mashed my insides like berries. When I tried to call 
my friends the buffalo held me under and soon I grew too exhausted 
to care. After fainting again I heard what seemed to be thunder. I 
felt myself falling, my soul left me, and everything went black. 

Some time later I heard a mumbling which turned into voices. For 
a moment I wondered if they were my spirit ancestors welcoming 
me into the world beyond. But soon I recognized my friends' voices 
calling my name. My soul returned and I woke. I thought I was 
badly hurt and kept calling for them to take me away. But except for 
being cut on my face when the buffalo had bounced me on its run to 
the river, I was unhurt. 

My friends had thought the horn went through me. They had fol- 
lowed us, killing the bull in the shallows. I never again dismounted 
during a buffalo hunt. 


Chapter Twenty-Six 

The game-stocked Yellowstone Valley was sufficiently 

tempting to other tribes that Crow raiding parties rarely had 

to travel -far to encounter enemies. "But some of their forays 

did cover long distances and last many months. 

Around 1825-30 a 'war party led by Twists His Tail returned 

to its River Crow camp after an absence of two and a half 

years. Part of their booty was a pregnant 'woman dressed in a 

deerskin dress fringed with pleasantly tinkling ornaments. She 

was probably Apache, evidence of a journey which had seen 

the Crows enter a country u where prickly-pear cactus grew 

as tall as a man and its leaves the size of a shield?'' 

But they also went east, walking as far as the middle course 

of the Missouri to raid the Sioux, or north into Canada to steal 

from the Blackfeet, and across the continental divide for 

Nez Perce horses. 

When they rode it was as mounted infantry; the skirmishing 

took place on the ground. Of such stretches in their hide saddles 

the Crow comment was, "buttocks were worn out" 

IT WAS STILL the moon when the leaves turn yellow. One day a war 
party led by Arapaho returned with news of Coyote Howls' death. I 
told Two Belly that I wanted revenge but that first I would visit Sees 
The Living Bull who was camped in the Hits With The Arrows 
country. That evening I made a sweat lodge and the next morning 
rode to his tipi. 

When I told him my plans he asked the direction I intended to go. 
I answered Where The Lightning Strikes, the place I had seen when 

he had made my medicine. He approved and told me where to camp 
each night. 

I sang many songs as I followed the winding Arrow Creek home, 
arriving long after sunset at the joining of the two rivers. 

That night in my tipi I sang my medicine songs. After purifying my 
body in a smudge of white pine needles I fell asleep and had a medi- 
cine dream. A big hawk flying high in the sky fell to earth and rose 
again with a man in its claws. It dropped the body at the place in my 
earlier dream. When I woke I knew that my medicine was with me 
and prepared to leave. I had told friends that I expected to go out as 
soon as I returned from Sees The Living Bull's. Eleven joined me; 
Woman Face, Clear On The Forehead, and High Hawk were about 
my age but the others were younger. 

Before sunrise we headed toward the Musselshell River. There was 
plenty of game so we carried no provisions. But that day we could 
not get within shooting distance of anything. After making camp in 
the bottom of the Musselshell Valley we went to sleep hungry. 

By dawn we were already riding and before the sun was a man's 
height above the horizon had killed two buffalo. Now we jerked and 
packed some of the meat. 

Just before sundown we arrived at the next camping place which 
Sees The Living Bull had described, Stone Pile, a day's travel north 
of the Musselshell River. After a night there we took the trail to Big 
River, opposite the eastern spur of the Little Rockies, where we camped 
the third night. At the end of the fourth day we came to the mouth 
of Dry Creek on the western shore of Big River. The next day we 
expected to reach Where The Lightning Strikes River. Now we had 
to be careful for across Big River was enemy country. 

In the morning I sent men to scout the opposite banks. When 
they reported no enemy signs we made skin boats, weighted them 
with stones, and tied on our clothing and weapons and ammunition. 
We swam across with a piece of driftwood under one arm, pulling the 
boats with thongs in our teeth. For some time the nights had been 
frosty and the water was cold. On the other side we were so numbed 
we risked a fire. Some men gathered dry wood, especially dry bark 
when they could find it since it made little smoke. On the east we 
were well hidden by a high bank, and thick chokecherry bushes sur- 
rounded us. After we were warm we wiped out all traces of the fire. 
I sent four men ahead to scout the banks as we traveled among the 
big cottonwoods lining the valley bottom. 

Toward evening we approached Where The Lightning Strikes 
where the river banks are cut by a creek bearing the same name. The 
scouts still reported no enemy signs, but knowing we would meet 
them here I had my men tie their horses and make camp. 

Early the next morning we built a fire, careful again not to use 
smoking wood. After we ate I ordered my men on their horses, telling 
them that I was sure we would soon meet enemies. I posted a lookout 
on a nearby hill and rode carefully up the creek, the others far behind. 
As I drew near the location in my vision I turned a bend and hid in a 
willow grove to watch the creek bottom's upper reaches. I was still 
not certain enemies were in the vicinity, but I had faith in my medicine 
dream. Then buffalo spilled over the southern bank several rifle shots 
away, and behind them rode two Sioux. 

Singing my medicine song I ran back and met the scout running 
down the hill. He reported ten more Sioux riding our way. Although 
we were twelve, two were boys carrying only knives. But I reminded 
my men that these Sioux were not brave and that as soon as we began 
shooting some would run off. 

I told them to take out their medicines and sing their songs. I told 
them to be brave. Sees The Living Bull had said there was no reason 
to be afraid. After opening my medicine bundle I blew my eagle-bone 
whistle seven times. Then I knelt and held up my eagle medicine with 
my left hand. As I looked under it I sang: "The bird above is kind to 
me. There are some Indians. They are easy to me. I want to talk to 
them. They are easy." 

Then I blew my whistle again. Swaying from side to side, I saw two 
falling enemies underneath my medicine. I was going to kill those 

The ten other Sioux were a few rifle shots away, but had not yet 
crossed the spot where I had seen the two men fall. Now the first two 
hunters disappeared behind the ridge in my vision and I led my men up 
the other side. 

The other Sioux saw us and rushed to join their friends. As the 
first hunter rode over the ridge I shot him in the leg. Dismounting as 
soon as he fell I dodged his pistol bullet and killed him with another 
shot. After I scalped his beautiful hair I held one half up to the sun. 

My men were spreading out along the ridge and firing. High Hawk 
wounded one who escaped. When the ten Sioux saw me kill that man 
they raced away until they were too far to chase. Also, we feared they 
might be part of a larger camp. 

My first pipeholder's vision had been fulfilled. Although we had 
only killed one and wounded another I was anxious to bring my men 
safely back. We traveled all day and reached the river that night, pull- 
ing out the skin boats we had hidden under brush. Then I felt safe 
and, as I swam across, sang one of my medicine songs: "He was just 
going in front of us." 

This time the cold water did not bother me. Once on the other side 
I remembered that other war parties were out and told my men to 
hurry. Our celebration would be even better if we were the first to 
return successfully. 

All that night and through the next day we galloped along the 
Musselshell River. About sunset we came around a bend and saw a 
Crow camp and recognized several men returning from a buffalo hunt. 
I took out my new medicine which Sees The Living Bull had given me 
and we made charcoal and blackened our faces. After everyone had 
tied on their medicines and the scalp was attached to a long thin pole 
we rode toward camp, shooting our guns into the air. A moment later 
the drums began and the women ran out of their tipis singing a scalp 
song. On all sides people called out my name and pointed to my scalp. 
They sang my song: "Wherever he is staying, we are going where he 

They also sang this song: "I want to have another song." 

All night long we sang and danced. My ambition had come true and 
I was a real pipeholder. By dawn we were too tired to celebrate any 
more and finished by singing a love song: "The one I love, do not go 
home. You are the only one I love, do not go home." 

I gave away half of the scalp and kept the other half to take to our 
home camp which I learned was on Porcupine Creek. Two days later 
we left and when we rode into our village, celebrated all over again. 
I sang this medicine song: "Whoever he is, I am going to him." 

The whole camp joined in and everyone felt good. I had avenged 
Coyote Howls and my name was spoken through camp. I never tired 
of telling about this trip, and visitors returned to hear it again. 

My medicine father was camped with the Mountain Crows along 
Elk River at a place now called Pease Bottom * and I was anxious to 
see him. Three men from my last war party rode with me and I led 
a horse for him. When we could see his camp we shot our guns and 
I sang a victory song: "I thank you. Go right by here. I thank you." 

As Sees The Living Bull invited me into his tipi I said that here was 
some nice hair for him. He seemed pleased as he took the scalp out of 

the buckskin cover I had made. I told him that everything he had pre- 
dicted had come true but that instead of two men I had killed one and 
wounded another who escaped. I had been afraid of telling this but he 
called me his son and said that everything was all right. While I should 
have chased them until one more was dead, he said, the wounded man 
would die before reaching home. He wanted me to stay in camp this 
winter, and next spring when the water rose to go to Bear Creek. There 
I would kill an enemy and in the moon when the grass is high I would 
kill another. 

And it happened as Sees The Living Bull said. The events he fore- 
told always came true. He had given me his medicine and now he gave 
me his dreams and visions which brought me many victories as the 
summers and winters passed. 


Qha-pter Twenty-Seven 

In Two Leggings' boyhood there 'were eight 

warrior societies whose duties were to guard the camp against 

nocturnal raids and to police the hunts. A member might 

order an anxious hunter back into line; disobedience 

brought a swift whipping. Returning -from a clandestine 

raid, the Crow hotblood might find his tipi in ribbons; the society 

chosen by the head chief the previous spring had 

discovered his unauthorized mission and delivered punishment. 

The Foxes and Lumpwoods, which emerged, 

as the dominant societies when Two Leggings was reaching 

manhood, were very similar in insignia and 

organization. In each two officials, elected for one 

summer season, bore otter-skin-wrapped crooked staffs, 

while two other officers carried straight staffs. 

These positions were often regretted; the straight-staff bearer 

must plant his emblem into the ground during a 

fight. If no fellow member passed between him and the enemy 

he was duty bound to stand until he cc dropped his robe? 

The fierce rivalry between the Foxes and Lumpwoods 

displayed itself on the battlefield and at home. On raids each 

would try to outdo the other in accumulating honors; 

in the spring each would attempt to abduct former mistresses 

who had in the meantime married members of the opposing 


WE WERE CAMPED along the Bighorn River close to the mouth of the 
Little Bighorn River, but game grew scarce so we moved to Rotten 
Grass Creek and then to Mud Creek, near the foot of the Bighorn 

Sees The Living Bull told me that if I wanted he would give me his 
vision of the killing of a Sioux east of Wolf Mountains. But it was 
snow-melting season and I was lazy. I did not want to go on the war- 
path and put it off. Also, the Foxes had gone on a raid and I was wait- 
ing for their return. 

One day Wolf Bear, I, and some friends were sitting in the shade of 
my dpi. It was warmer than usual and we did not feel like doing much. 
Camp had plenty of meat and there were no reports of enemies. It was 
still early in the day when we heard shooting and saw a party of 
Foxes riding over a Mil, carrying long poles with scalps tied to the ends 
and singing victory songs. The women rushed out of their tipis and 
began the scalp dance song as soon as they saw their husbands and 

The war party rode through camp. When they saw us Lumpwoods 
they sang and one song was about me: "Two Leggings poor man, 
Two Leggings poor man." 

I walked away with the other society members, but the Foxes fol- 
lowed: "Those Lumpwoods are running away. They are afraid." 

They called us all kinds of names because we had not gone to war. 
Some of their songs were about our wives. I told the others that I was 
leaving the next day and whoever wanted could join me. On our re- 
turn I promised we would make songs against them. 

The others were ready so I went to see Sees The Living Bull, who 
seemed glad. The following morning, after the proper preparations, I 
rode toward the Wolf Mountains with Plain Face, Black Hair, Little 
Heart, and Bobtail Wolf, all Lumpwoods and my companions since 
Young Mountain's death. 

When we noticed some men leaving camp to catch up with us we 
waited and then all rode to a meadow just before the foothills of the 
Wolf Mountains. After our evening meal we sat and smoked. The full 
moon threw deep shadows over the country. All night Lumpwood 
members rode in and we heard that Wolf Bear was bringing his friends. 
Toward morning he rode into our camp, looking very fine on a lively 
horse, his pipeholder's war pipe hanging from a wide otter-skin strip 
over his shoulder. He was singing: "Our enemies just passed in front 
of us." 

We moved into the Wolf Mountains but did not travel far because 
the trail was steep and we wanted our horses fresh. 

Now there were several pipeholders and that evening they met to- 
gether. I wanted to finish eating but they kept calling so I put on my 

war shirt and leggings of softly tanned mountain-sheep skin trimmed 
with weasel skins and scalp locks. Around my neck I wore a good 
wampum necklace and attached long pieces of false hair to my head. 
In my own hair I wore a red plume tied to a brass ring. Then I rode 
my beautiful bay horse to their meeting ground. 

After all the pipeholders had smoked, each spoke about the direc- 
tion we should take. Old White Man had planned to go to a place 
called Where The White Clay Is. Hillside stood up and said he had 
dreamed that enemies were at Where The Lightning Strikes on the 
other side of Big River. Bobtail Wolf wanted to go to Where The 
Dog Bites. Hunts The Enemy said we should ride to Where The Gros 
Ventre Sun Dance Tipi Stands. Then Wolf Bear said that I had started 
this, that none of them had gotten angry. Many of the warriors had 
come, he said, because they knew I would lead them. He asked if I 
was going after horses or if I just wanted scalps. 

When I stood up I told them of my medicine father's dream to cross 
the Wolf Mountains to the east and follow the mountains north where 
I would meet two enemies, one on a bay and the other on a gray. In 
his dream he had been told to kill the first, but to let the other escape 
because he was too dangerous. I said that I wanted to follow this trail 
which was short while the others required many days. I reminded 
them of the bad names we had been called and said that this way we 
could bring back scalps as proof of our bravery. When we made songs 
about the Foxes they would be silent. 

As I sat down I could see they liked my words. Wolf Bear stood up 
and said that I was right to be angry. The trail I described was short so 
we would return soon to our tipis and wives and women. He said that 
with the help of the Great Above Person we would silence those Foxes. 

They all agreed and I was now leader. The next morning we rode 
northeast over the rough trail through the Wolf Mountains. As we 
descended the eastern slopes we came upon buffalo as thick as grass. 
Camping by a creek a few men rode out to kill a fat cow. Soon we 
were roasting buffalo ribs. There were many of us and game might 
not be so plentiful north so we heated up the fire, laid down green 
willows, and spread enough meat strips for two days' travel. 

That evening we chose four scouts, Sits Toward The Mountain, 
Kind Hearted Old Man, Bird On The Prairie, and another whose 
name I have forgotten, telling them to set out before daybreak toward 
Snake Hill, a high mountain at the northeastern end of the Wolf 


The next morning, after a quick meal, we traveled along the eastern 
slopes. It was good to be out again and the early spring air made me 
happy. I was sure we would be successful. That evening we camped at 
the foot of Snake Hill while our scouts spent the night on top, watch- 
ing the northern country. In the morning I sent a boy to bring in the 
horses while we ate dried meat. He rushed back, saying that our scouts 
were howling like wolves. When the scouts rode in, waving their guns 
over their heads and howling, we all stood up. If they had only howled 
it would have meant buffalo, but the waving of their guns meant 

They had spotted two Sioux chasing buffalo on the other side of the 
mountain and had left a man to keep watch. They were very excited 
and wanted us to leave right away. Wolf Bear took the lead, singing 
his medicine song: "There is somebody just going in front of us." 

At the base of Snake Hill we left our horses and crawled up. The 
scout pointed them out, butchering their buffalo. We went down for 
our horses and began painting ourselves and unwrapping our medi- 

I was on one of the fastest horses I ever owned. It was well known to 
our people. Around its neck I fastened a necklace of rock-swallow 
feathers, small bells, and a stuffed hawk. When you watch rock 
swallows flying in a tight bunch you never see them touch. This neck- 
lace gave my horse that same power to dodge if I was chased. The bells 
meant a coming storm. If I was followed by enemies I would pray for 
a sudden storm to come between us, slowing them down. The hawk 
was a fast, high-flying kind that had long endurance; I wanted those 
qualities for my horse. 

Paints His Head Red, next to me on a beautiful bay, painted his face 
with black stripes under the eyes. On his head he tied a stuffed eagle. 
He was singing his medicine song: "I am going to strike the enemy. I 
want to have the body." 

If we rode straight down they could escape into the thickly wooded 
coulees. We descended on our side, carefully circled the base of the 
hill, and came upon them skinning their animals apart from each other. 
A bay stood beside the man nearest us. The other had a gray and I 
told my men to let him escape as I had been advised. 

As we whipped our horses, Pale Face, Young Curlew, High Hawk, 
and I took the lead. The bay jerked its rope from the Sioux's arms 
where it had been loosely wrapped and began running in circles. The 
man fell behind the buffalo carcass and started shooting. We all fired 


and then I saw his gun on the ground and blood running from his nose 
and mouth. High Hawk and I were the first to ride up. As I leaned 
over to pick up his gun High Hawk shoved me away and grabbed it. 
Then I dismounted, scalped him as he was dying, and mounted again. 
Two men had chased his horse and both wanted it so badly they 
finally shot it. 

The others were chasing the remaining Sioux toward the creek at 
the lower end of the flat. Straight Calf shot his horse. As it fell the 
man lay on the ground and shot back. He was brave and even shot a 
man in the leg. I yelled to them to leave him alone, that we had an 
enemy scalp and should return to make up songs against the Foxes. 
But they wanted to kill him. 

Then we heard war cries and shooting. Many Sioux burst out of the 
trees where this man had been riding. We had not noticed a large camp 
pitched in the timber along the river bottom. I yelled to my men to 
head toward the mountains, but most were already on their way. 

Six of us on long-winded horses covered for our friends, shooting 
back and riding slowly as long as they could see us, but whipping our 
horses when we were out of sight. By the time they topped a ridge, 
we were again out of rifle range. 

When I noticed my horse tiring I shouted to the rest to keep riding 
while I made medicine. At the next ridge I dismounted and untied a 
little medicine bag which was always fastened to my shirt. With a 
small bone spoon I took out some powdered herbs and rubbed them 
into my horse's mouth and nostrils and on its jaw. After mounting 
again I sang my horse a medicine song: "My horse is fast. My horse is 

Although I was supposed to sing this song to each of the earth's 
four corners, east, south, west, and north, the Sioux were very close. 
When I was about to sing my last song I noticed two other groups of 
Sioux racing toward me from right and left, and heard the men in front 
singing. Bullets whistled by and kicked up dirt around my horse. I 
galloped down the ridge. By the time the first Sioux reached the place 
where I had made medicine I could laugh when they shot at me. For 
a long time my horse did not tire and I played with them again. Reach- 
ing the mountains I rode up a steep slope. Wolf Bear made signs from 
the top for me to walk my horse up. Then we watched the few re- 
maining Sioux start the climb. 

He asked if I had killed another but I said that I had just escaped. 
When he warned me that our trail would be useless if I was killed I 


explained about my horse. He agreed that the medicine had saved my 
life. Some Sioux were still behind us as we joined the others on the next 
mountain. For the rest of that day and through that night we did not 
stop. I switched to a pack horse, turning my own in with the extras 
we had brought. The sun was rising as we descended the last ridges. 

The Bighorn Mountains were still covered with snow almost to their 
foothills and further west the snow on the Beartooth Mountains and 
Rockies shone in the sun. The sky was clear and first green was show- 
ing everywhere. Our horses kept trying to eat the new grass, but we 
pushed them on because the Sioux might still be behind. Also I was 
eager to reach camp so we could dance another scalp dance while the 
women sang for us. We rode all that day, stopping at dust to eat some 
dried meat and to give our horses grass and water from a creek. The 
moon was above the eastern horizon as we rode through the night. 
Just before dawn we came out of the breaks and entered Elk River 
Valley, soon finding our village near the Mountain Lion's Lodge. , 

We stopped to put on the war shirts, medicines, warbonnets, and 
leggings we had brought, and painted our faces to show we had been 
successful. I led six men galloping into camp. When we reached the 
center of the tipis we circled around, pretending to fight each other. 
Then we dashed back out, joined the others, and all galloped into 
camp, five abreast, firing our guns into the air. From the top of a long 
willow pole I carried my scalp. It was scraped thin, dyed with a mix- 
ture of blood and charcoal, and stretched on a willow hoop. Everyone 
was singing; this was my song: "I shall travel to some place. I shall be 

Our wives and girl friends rushed out of their tipis and people who 
had recently lost relatives took the scalp pole and danced with it and 
sang. The women also painted their faces with charcoal. We used the 
blood and charcoal mixture to paint the older women's and widows' 
robes solid black, and painted black stripes on the robes of the younger 
women and girls. Several men brought drums out of their tipis and sat 
down inside the camp circle. As the women danced the scalp dance 
we fell in behind them. 

My name was praised by everyone and I forgot about the Foxes. We 
danced through the day and late into the night. Early in the morning 
the women came to the tipis calling for the men who had gone with 
us and we began the scalp dance again. The following day the men 
woke the women and we danced some more. For several days we 
feasted like this and were happy. Then I remembered the Foxes. They 
had not expected us so soon and were quiet during our celebrating. 

I began one my scalp dance songs: "I went by here. The last one 
was better than the first." 

Riding by a group of Foxes I said that now we would call them 
names. I collected the Lumpwood members still celebrating and we 
rode double with our wives and girl friends who always joined in this. 
We were singing: "Where they stop, I shall go straight there to 
where they stop. I thank you." 

Boils His Leggings was the Foxes' leader. As we rode by his fine 
tipi I made a funny song about the Foxes. Boils His Leggings' wife 
rushed out with a club and began beating my horse. We left and after 
riding around camp once more I planned something. But I warned my 
men not to touch Boils His Leggings or his family. We all dismounted, 
hid our guns under our blankets, and sang as we walked through the 
camp: "We are going. We are going into the northern country." 

When we arrived at his tipi Boils His Leggings was sitting outside, 
a magpie feather in the long braids coiled on his head. Red spots were 
painted on his forehead to represent stars. I think he had expected us 
back and wanted to make us afraid of his medicine power. 

What happened next was not the way to treat a great warrior. But 
the same thing had happened to me and could again. We pretended to 
surround him and I talked loudly to my men, saying that this man 
was so powerful they could only shout at him. 

Everyone yelled and clapped their hands over their mouths. When 
they had quieted down I said they should not shoot because their bul- 
lets could not kill him. If they touched this great medicine man, I 
said, he would do something to them. 

My friends shouted once more and uncovered their guns, shooting 
oif the tips of many of his tipi poles. Several bullets also tore holes in 
the smoke flaps. I had brought a drum and began singing: "Lump all 
over him. Lump all over him." 

Then we were all singing and laughing and shouting. Boils His 
Leggings had rheumatism; his legs and hands were swollen and this 
was what I meant. Again his wife ran out, crying that I had ruined 
their tipi. She said I had never owned one as nice and called me a bad 
man. She was so angry she could hardly talk. Although Boils His 
Leggings could not show his anger, I saw in his eyes that we had hurt 
him as badly as he had hurt me. 

We would have kept it up if Crooked Arm, the camp chief, had not 
appeared, carrying his medicine pipe uncovered. He invited us to 
smoke, saying we were all his children, especially me, and asked us to 
have pity. 


I would only take the pipe if Boils His Leggings took it, since he 
had started this. Then Boils His Leggings said that I was foolish and 
not even a medicine man. From now on, he said, I would never sing 
victory songs or kill any enemies. 

I told him that he had never received a dream and had had to buy 
his medicine from White Fox. I promised to show him that his power 
was nothing to me. 

Crooked Arm told us to stop this, but Boils His Leggings kept talk- 
ing. Then Crooked Arm told me that Boils His Leggings was older 
and not to listen. He asked us again to smoke and said that if I wanted 
to become a chief I must control myself. 

When I took the pipe our revenge on the Foxes was over. But Boils 
His Leggings still would not smoke. After that he never went on a 
raid or killed any more enemies, while I went out many times and be- 
came an even greater warrior than before. 

Soon afterward the Foxes took revenge on me. Returning from a 
short raid, I found my tipi empty and learned that a young Fox mem- 
ber had stolen my wife. During the early spring season this often 
went on between the Foxes and Lumpwoods. It had begun in the long 
ago when we were taught to endure all kinds of things without com- 
plaining. It would have been a disgrace for me to take her back. Al- 
though I had been very fond of her I could not show my unhappiness 
and did not try to see her. 

Medicine Crow tried to cheer me, saying that there were many good 
women in camp. When I finally realized she was lost forever I asked 
for his help. Two Stars was still young, pretty, and a hard worker. Be- 
fore she married Knows His Ground she had been my girl friend. 
Now he was away on the warpath. But I said that he would return to 
an empty tipi. 

Medicine Crow and I rode to Knows His Ground's tipi early the 
next morning. When I opened the door flap Two Stars was alone in- 
side. I told her to come with me because I was going to marry her. 
She knew I could have taken her by force. Without a word, she threw 
her buffalo robe over her shoulders and walked out behind me. I lifted 
her on my horse and took her to my tipi. We did not talk much the 
first few days, but she began her duties right away. She was a good 
tanner of robes, clean and good to look at, and I was happy. 

For the year she remained my wife I stayed in camp. Then, early 
the following spring season, I went on a raid. First we went to Fort 
Benton and then northwest to the Piegans and the Blackf eet, discover- 

Ing them along Badger Creek where the old Blackfeet agency stands. 
The seven of us were able to run off many horses and return safely to 
our camp on Plum Creek. On this trip we met a group of white trap- 
pers who had recently come into our country. 

When I walked into my tipi my wife was not there. I asked around 
and was told she had returned to her relatives who were camped with 
the Many Lodges on the Bighorn River. 

I was still young and wild. As soon as I learned this I ran off with 
another girl. But Two Stars was not happy with her family. When 
she returned within a moon she was surprised and angry I had married 

I liked her and took her back. But my two wives were jealous and 
quarreled from the first day. Although I lived with them I saw other 
women, and this made more fighting as each blamed the other. I could 
do nothing with them and moved to my brother's camp. 

One day there I dressed up in all my best clothes to watch a dance. 
A woman in the circle of dancers seemed glad that I noticed her. I 
must have looked good because that evening I heard a footstep out- 
side my brother's tipi and a voice calling me. When I went behind the 
tipi I told her that as long as she stayed with her husband I could not 
marry her. I said I loved her and wanted her to be my wife. She threw 
her arms around me, kissed me, and wanted to go inside so no one 
could see us. 

My brother's family was away so we sat down. Soon the door flap 
was raised; her husband looked first at me and then at his wife. After 
I had walked out I heard him ask about me, but did not hear her reply. 
I watched the tipi until they left and then went back in. 

The next day there was a big Tobacco Dance and Medicine Crow 
and I were watching on our best horses. I was looking out for the 
girl's husband since he had the right to give me a beating, which I 
would have to take without complaining. But the dance was exciting 
and I forgot. Then people around me yelled and something hit my 
back, knocking me off my horse. He had come up behind me with a 
stick hidden under his robe. The people held him while Medicine 
Crow and I rode away. It had been my fault and I would have made 
a fool of myself if I had said something in anger. When the people 
asked why he had done it he described finding me the night before 
with his wife in my brother's tipi. Later my brother told me that I was 
on my way to becoming a chief and that a chiefs first duties were to 
respect our customs. He said I should know that I was not supposed 


to be alone with someone else's wife inside a tipi. If I was looking for 
a wife, he said, there were many unmarried women of the right age in 
camp. I knew that he was right. 

Soon after this I became fond of a young woman named Gets A 
Shield and married her. But she turned out to have a quick temper 
and I grew tired of her. One day she caught me with another girl and 
hit me. I did not strike back but walked to my tipi. She followed be- 
hind, asking why I did not go to that other woman. Without answer- 
ing I packed up my few belongings and went to live with my brother. 
Later she became the wife of Curley, one of Custer's scouts. 

After that I decided to obey our tribal rules. When I broke them 
I never had any luck. During these years I looked for the woman 
whose name I had heard in my vision. I married several times but my 
happiness never lasted. Then one day, when I was married to a woman 
who was bad-tempered and lazy, I entered a tipi and saw a young girl 
with a child in her lap. Something inside me said that this was she. Her 
eyes and beautiful hair were just as I had seen them and the parting 
was also painted yellow. She was bashful and would not look at me. 
She belonged to a large family, her parents and another family living 
together in three tipis. Her father was a chief. She would not answer 
when I asked her name. Then I told her that the Great Above Person 
had given her to me to marry. 

When I learned her name it meant something different from the one 
in my dream, but there was little change in sound. I married her and 
she has been my faithful woman for more than forty years. I am 
raising a little orphan girl whose mother died a few years ago, and 
have named her Comes Out Of The Water. 

After marrying this woman I seemed to be more successful and 
gained the respect of our people. 

Then eleven of us went on a raid, riding down the Bighorn River 
until we found a Sioux camp where we captured many horses. As we 
were coming back we discovered another enemy camp near Dirt 
River where it runs into Big River, and stole more horses. When we 
finally rode into our village on the Musselshell River we drove over 
fifty head before us. There was a big celebration over our success. 
Among my six head was a fine black horse with which I won many 
races in later years. 

Chapter Twenty-Bight 

About a year after the Crows signed the Fort Laramie treaty 

of 1868, construction began on a sawmill, the new agency** 

first building, near a mountain called Hide Flesher by the 

Crows close to today's Livingston, Montana. Distribution of 

such presents as yellow blankets 'was organized through 

Fort Ellis, a few miles west. Soldiers escorted wagons to the 

Yellowstone and the goods were issued on the river's 

north bank. But by September iS6$ y Superintendent A. Sully 

was lamenting the new agent's delay and the absence of nearly 

2,000 Mountain Crows who were south 

on their winter hunt. 

When Agent E. M. Camp and his steamboat-load of annuity 

goods clothing, food y and agricultural supplies finally did 

arrive from Fort Bent on, the new man found problems on 

his hands. The River Crows, whom he tried to persuade to 

leave their temporary residence with the Atsina and 

Assiniboines and move south permanently, were being 

taunted by the Sioux: "We are rich and ride fat horses and 

have plenty y while you are friends to the whites and are poor 

and have no horses" And at home the Mountain Crows showed 

little inclination for the "arts of civilization" 

AFTER RETURNING from that raid "when we stole horses from the two 
camps we stayed along the Musselshell and Elk rivers, and all the 
time I remained in camp. Chokecherry-ripening time was coming 
and one day I visited my medicine father. We did not talk while 
smoking, but afterward he called me his son and told me not to 
leave camp until another war party returned with a man killed. Its 


warriors would ask me a favor which I must do. He advised me to 
alert my friends about this. 

A few days later a war party with Big Shoulder as pipeholder rode 
quietly into camp and soon we heard wailing. As I left my tipi I saw 
Weasel Sits Down's wife sticking a knife into her head and gashing 
her arms and legs, leaving a trail of blood wherever she walked. 
When she tried to cut off her finger end her relatives took away the 
knife. Her husband had been Big Shoulder's brother. But the pipe- 
holder had not acted properly and Weasel Sits Down had been 
killed. 1 Now Big Shoulder went into the hills to mourn. 

An agency had already been built near the present town of Living- 
ston and it was time to pick up our annuity goods. While on our way 
Sees The Living Bull told me that the night before he had dreamt of 
a blanket rising into the air and falling in a coulee. He had also heard 
a woman crying. If something happened in camp, he said, I was not to 
go because there would be fighting. 

We reached the agency, received our annuity goods, and enjoyed 
many dances and feasts. A few days later we moved downriver and 
camped near a creek. The next morning as I went for my horses I no- 
ticed someone galloping toward camp. Upon returning I learned that 
Sioux had stolen horses the night before and two men who had chased 
the thieves had been killed. 

Until now I had acted as I had wanted. But I had met with such 
bad luck that now I followed my medicine father's advice and did not 
go out. Some men returned late that night and said that after they had 
seen their friends killed they had surrounded the Sioux, killing two 
before they escaped. 

The following morning I did something foolish and looked at the 
bodies of our men. Rawhide had tried to strike a man with his coup 
stick but was shot down before he got close. Coyote had been killed 
when he rode too near. Both were well liked and our camp mourned 

I was invited to my medicine father's tipi the next morning along 
with Crooked Arm, Two Belly, and some older men. When I arrived 
Sees The Living Bull motioned for me to sit and, after our smoke, said 
that the time was near for what he had seen, that soon we would be 
painting our faces black. He told me to have my wife sew some extra 
moccasins, to get my horse ready, and to check my gun and ammuni- 
tion. I was to be ready to start the morning after the pipe had been 

offered to me. In the meantime he would build me another sweat lodge 
from one hundred and four willows. 

Then he took a willow twig, bent it into a hoop, and tied on seven 
eagle feathers in a fan shape. After painting them black he offered 
this to the sky, praying to the Great Above Person that I would meet 
the enemy and have good luck. 

Once I had accepted the pipe from Big Shoulder he said I would 
have to do whatever he asked. There was more talking during that 
gathering, most of it about the recent bad happenings. 

Each day I expected Big Shoulder but ten days later he offered his 
pipe to Long Otter. He accepted and moved his followers some dis- 
tance from the main camp to perform his medicine ceremony in 
private. When Sees The Living Bull heard of this he said that if Big 
Shoulder approached me with the same offer I should refuse, but to 
prepare my own raid. 

Soon we heard that Long Otter and some men and even women 
were leaving. When I told my medicine father he said there was no 
hurry, that when the time came he would tell me. After Long Otter's 
party had left, he said, I would kill a man and return safely. He had 
dreamt of enemies moving along the lower reaches of the Mussel- 
shell River and promised to tell me when they got close. Now he 
located them camped among the first pine trees close to the Bull 

The next day Sees The Living Bull said that he had dreamt of a 
shining light near Elk River, where Park City now stands. I was to 
go beyond that place. My war party would have to be small because 
so many had joined Long Otter. He said that today I should announce 
I was ready. 

A number of men asked to join. Before sunrise the following day 
Sees The Living Bull and his wife came singing to my tipL She carried 
a flannel blanket. I remember their song: "It is getting spring now. 
Thank you." 

While they waited outside Sees The Living Bull called my name 
and asked if I saw that big scalp. He had dreamt again and had seen 
a long black scalp falling from the sky. I sang my medicine father's 
song which I loved to hear. It was very powerful and I had often 
used it to help me out of dangerous situations. This way Sees The 
Living Bull had given me his dream and I had thanked him with his 



When they entered my tipi I gave him the seat at the back, across 
from the entrance. After we had smoked he told me not to worry that 
the pipe had not been offered to me. Now, he said, we would have 
to be satisfied with a smaller success, but would still paint our faces 

He told me to start at dawn the next day, to travel on the river's 
other side, and to stop for the first night at a place he would indicate 
later. Then I was to cross Where They Ran Away From Camp Creek 
where I would have a vision of a big eagle carrying a long-haired man 
in its claws. When I had traveled to Painted Blanket Creek I would 
see the eagle drop the body. As I neared Flat Butte, close to the present 
site of Park City, I should take the blanket he had brought and spread 
it out. Then I was to place a necklace he would give me around my 
neck, open my medicine, and sing the songs he had taught me. After 
that I should hold the medicine up to my eyes and look under it for 
a further vision. Before reaching this place I would see some deer 
running through the brush and was to kill one and skin it. He said 
that when I performed this medicine ceremony I should also spread 
that deer hide before me. 

Then he handed me his straight medicine pipe 2 and his own insignia 
which he had carried on raids in his younger days. For some time I 
had been a pipeholder, but I had never been trusted with such power- 
ful things and felt too proud to speak. I promised myself not to shame 
him in any way. Holding the pipe in iny hand I prayed to the Great 
Above Person that all my future trails would be successful. 

Over seventy men, more than I had expected, rode out with me 
at first light. I sang as I led them, certain that we would return with 
our faces painted black. Following my medicine father's instructions 
I crossed to the northern bank of Elk River and traveled slowly 
through the valley. Since the first day's ride was short we would stop 
and smoke. As we approached our camping place I sent men ahead to 
kill a few buffalo, start a fire, and make a brush shelter. Upon ar- 
riving we ate, smoked, and slept until dawn. 

Everything happened as Sees The Living Bull had said. The next 
day we arrived at the place where he had told me to open my medicine 
bundle, so I prepared a temporary camp. When we discovered that 
Long Otter and his party were camped within sight I forbade anyone 
to visit them. Big Shoulder was in that band and I told my men that 
if he came around he was to be told that I did not want to see him 
or speak to him. Some of Long Otter's men visited us that evening 

and I tried to leam their leader's plans, but they said they knew 

I told my men to sit in a circle and took my place at the western 
end. One Blue Bead was on my right and I asked him to light my pipe. 
After smoking I gave it to the man on my left No one talked while 
it passed around. 

I spread out the blanket Sees The Living Bull had given me. Earlier 
in the day we had seen some deer and I had sent two men to kill one. 
Now I spread its skin over the blanket. Laying my war medicine 
bundle on it I built a little smudge. After everyone had smoked I 
purified my hands in the sweet-grass smoke and began unwrapping 
my bundle. When I had finished I picked up a little paint bag filled 
with sacred red paint and painted a red circle around my face with 
my right index finger. Then I reddened my eyelids and painted a red 
streak across my mouth. I told my men that I wanted them all to 
shout after my war medicine song: "When the geese come back, I 
know the country where I am going." 

They shouted and clapped their hands to their mouths. I blew my 
eagle-bone whistle and raised my medicine to my eyes. When some- 
one asked what I saw I said an enemy track leading into tall pine 
trees and a large flying eagle with a man's body in its claws. The 
man's feet dangled in the air and a robe which had been wrapped 
around his body fell among the pines on Painted Blanket Creek. After 
a day's travel, I said, we would head for that place. 

Then I had camp moved to Where They Ran Away From Camp 
Creek not far away. Early the following morning I opened the medi- 
cine-pipe bundle Sees The Living Bull had given me and told all the 
warriors to sit in another circle. The man on my right lit the pipe, 
and after I smoked it was passed around until it was smoked out. I 
chose scouts and made them promise to report only what they actu- 
ally saw. They replied that they had smoked with me, meaning they 
could not lie. Then they rode ahead, each wearing the wolfskin cap 
which was his badge. 

I had told them to wait at a certain place if they saw no enemies. 
But about the middle of the day we heard their howls and soon saw 
them, waving their guns over their heads. I quickly ordered my men 
to pile dried buffalo chips in front of me and then we sat in a circle. 

The scouts jumped off their ponies, lacked over the chips, and 
waved their guns again. The kicking meant they would tell the truth 
and the waving of their guns meant enemies. After sitting on my left, 


where a place had been kept, they asked for a smoke. I lit the filled 
pipe and passed it to the scout on my left. While it went around the 
chief scout told me that they had spotted a Sioux on horseback 
looking for game on a hillside. They thought this meant a large war 
party was camped nearby. After their report the scouts returned to 
keep watch through the night. 

The next morning we ate dried meat because we did not want to 
light a fire, then joined the scouts. One met us at the foot of some 
hills to say that Sioux were camped on the other side. The night before 
they had not rested until they had counted the tipis. Leaving our 
extra horses tied to some branches with helpers to guard them, we 
followed him up to a wooded ridge. 

The other scouts were lying at different points, hidden by sage 
bushes held in front of them. I dismounted and crawled to the chief 
scout. Just then four hunters left the Sioux tipis, riding straight for 
our ridge. Crawling back to my horse, I told my men to prepare their 
medicines and unwrapped my own. After singing my medicine song 
I blew the war whistle which was part of my bundle. When One 
Blue Bead told me not to whistle too loudly I said that my medicine 
father had told me the enemy would look up for a bird and not see 
us coming. 

I whistled again, prayed to the Great Above Person, and sang a 
medicine song: "Big Bird Above is kind to us. I am watching toward 
the enemy. All enemies will easily be influenced. It is easy." 

Then I raised my medicine to my eyes. Under it an enemy body 
hung in the sky. Our scouts made signs that the hunters were within 
gunshot. My men had tied on their medicines and had painted their 
faces with their personal sacred colors. We dismounted and crawled 
to watch them ride closer. I wore only my breechcloth and moccasins 
and carried my medicine pipe and bundle on my back. As I began 
running forward with my gun I bent low. Looking up, I saw the 
four Sioux about twenty steps away. One carried a robe over his 
gun; I recognized the man who had fallen from the sky. As I shot him 
I called to my men to attack. The other Sioux tried to get away when 
they saw him fall. He bent down to pick up his gun but did not 
have enough strength. High Hawk was a step behind me and ran up. 
Blood pouring out of his mouth and nose, the Sioux tried to draw his 
knife. But High Hawk clubbed him to death with his gun butt and 
scalped his whole hair. Cutting it into three pieces, he gave one to me 
and one to Pretty Tail who had joined us. 

The rest mounted to chase the other three Sioux and quickly re- 
turned with one scalp. During a short council some suggested keep- 
ing after them but I said we did not have enough fast horses to risk 
approaching their camp. Besides, we did not know how many men 
were in their tipis. I told them that I wanted to return singing victory 
songs and have the women dance for us so our last defeat would be 

A few days later we drew near our village. Long Otter and his 
band also seemed to have come back successfully because we heard 
drums and singing as we stopped for the night. But I was proud of 
our raid and this did not bother me. 

At dawn I led the men into camp, carrying a pole with my piece of 
scalp waving from the end. Those who had counted coup came first, 
the ones with pieces of the two scalps followed, and the rest rode 

Some of us were singing our medicine songs and the people received 
us with shouting. Then there were days full of feasting and singing 
and dancing. Everywhere I heard my name called out as a successful 
pipeholder. I had achieved what I had fought for, and \ was proud. 


Except for an incident in autumn, 2887, the Crows 'were 

'well known for their peaceable demeanor toward whites. 

Accounts describe white men raising their guns at the approach 

of mounted Indians, and lowering them in relief when the 

warriors formed their palms into flapping wings sign 

language for Crows. 

While the Government never heeded the repeated suggestions 

of its agents to arm the Crows, for their own good and to 

protect settlers from Sioux hostiles, it did hire them to perform 

scouting and courier duties. Crows accompanied General 

George Crook on the Rosebud River, General Nelson Miles 

against the Sioux and Bannocks, General John Gibbon against 

the Sioux, and General Oliver Howard in his pursuit 

of the Nez Perces. 

The one exception began with the return of a successful 

war party led by a half-Crow, half-Bannock upstart named 

Wraps Up His Tail, or Swordbearer. When Agent H. Williamson 

burst into the celebrating crowd surrounding his government 

domicile, a wild shot passed over his head. Before his order to 

arrest the boistrous warriors could be carried out, the insurgents 

had fled to the mountains. A month later, after the group 

had surrendered, the twenty -four-year-old rebel, three 

followers, and one Army corporal were killed in a small melee. 

SHORTLY AFTER THE CXJSTER BATTLE we were camped above the present 
town of Forsyth. One day I noticed a soldier in buckskins ride up to 
Two Belly's tipi and a little later the crier rode through the village, 
announcing that scouts were wanted for the army chasing the Sioux 

and Cheyennes. Two Belly sent a messenger asking me to his tipi. 
When I arrived some younger men were already there. Two Belly said 
that the Sioux and Cheyennes were all over our hunting places and 
that we should help the soldiers drive them back to their own country. 
Some of us might be killed, but he said that would not be as bad as 
having our land taken, losing our horses, or living in constant danger, 
I was doing nothing and told him I could leave any time. About thirty 
of us offered to join the soldiers. The soldier in buckskins wanted us to 
come with him immediately, so Two Belly had the crier tell us to 
bring in our horses. 

The sun was down by the time we left. About the middle of the 
night we rode into the soldiers' camp and were given a good meal of 
buffalo meat. It was the first time I tasted coffee and I liked it. We ate 
fast and mounted again, accompanying the soldiers up Elk River to 
the mouth of the Rosebud River. On the other side the main soldiers' 
camp looked like a gathering of several large tribes. 1 A soldier rode 
toward us and handed a note to our guide, who then told us to follow 
him. Riding into the middle of that big camp I wondered if all the 
United States soldiers were there. It was dawn and we were tired and 
hungry. After being given some meat, crackers, and more coffee, we 
spent the remainder of the day resting. I was lying on the ground half 
asleep when a strange noise made us all jump up. We had never heard 
a bugle before. 

A few moments later two soldiers with marks on their sleeves asked 
for two scouts to ride up the Rosebud River toward the hills and de- 
liver a note to another group of soldiers. They explained that since our 
horses were tired they would give us fresh mounts. I was standing close 
to these soldiers and understood what they meant. Although I hoped 
they would not call me they must have already decided because after 
asking for Spotted Horse they spoke my name. I pretended to be 
asleep. The soldier waited a moment, looked at his paper, and spoke 
my name again. I stood up and walked over. 

Spotted Horse and I were told that the soldiers were a day's ride 
up the river. A big brown horse and a bay were led out to us and 
Spotted Horse chose the brown. Both were beautiful and in the best 
condition and I did not care which I rode. When we left at sunset a 
few soldiers accompanied us but soon turned back. It quickly grew 
dark and since we had been told not to stop we rode until dawn, when 
we spotted a soldier on a hilltop. He rode down and after we gave him 
the note he led us to his camp. 


Then we ate a good meal and rested until the middle of the day, 
when three more scouts rode in from different directions. There was 
no interpreter, so we did not find out what was happening. The 
officer in charge called us to his tent and made us understand that we 
could return to the other camp at sunset. We slept until the bugle 
made us jump again and a soldier handed us another note to take 
back. Once more some soldiers escorted us a little distance. 

Then we were riding alone in the night. When the moon rose there 
was enough light to gallop. Although no enemies had been reported 
we were still careful. Before dawn, as we came close to the camp, I 
noticed that my horse did not seem to feel rny quirt and told Spotted 
Horse that we should rest. After picketing our horses in some thick 
grass along the river bottom we slept until sunup. 

I woke first and went for the horses. The bay seemed fine but the 
big brown horse was dead. Spotted Horse could hardly believe it. It 
must have been too fat. We ate some of the soldiers' food we had been 
given and rode double slowly. As we approached the camp a soldier 
lookout rode down the hill and accompanied us. 

We were taken to the commanding officer and through an inter- 
preter I told him that we had been ordered to ride hard and that one 
horse had died. We were afraid he might be angry but he said that 
horses and men must die sometime and since it was dead to forget it. 

Spotted Horse and I felt better and thanked him. We stayed there 
that night and the next morning the bugle frightened me again. We 
built a cooking fire and, while we were eating, a soldier came over to 
explain that there was no more danger from the enemy and that we 
could go. He gave us a large quantity of meat for the trip back. We 
were glad to be going home and started singing as soon as we were 
out of the camp. On the trail we killed two deer and arrived at our 
tipis on the banks of Tullock Creek long after dark with plenty of 

I rested a day before riding over to Two Belly's camp, which had 
moved to the mouth of the Bighorn River. After I told him what had 
happened he said that whenever possible I should help the soldiers 
kill Sioux. If they were not driven off, the land we wanted for our 
children would be stolen. He said that long ago, when the Sioux had 
come from the south, we had moved to the Big River country. When 
other enemies had threatened us from the north we had moved west. 
All we wanted, he said, was to be left alone. But we must always be 
on our guard and always carry guns. 

We helped the white man so we could own our land in peace. Our 
blood is mixed in the ground with the blood of white soldiers. We did 
not know they were going to take our land. That is what they gave 
us for our friendship. 

Chapter thirty 

Although by 1875 all the River Crows were at the Livingston 

agency and had promised to remain through the following 

winter, the tribe never -felt at home there. The site was too -far 

from hunting grounds and sources of timber, too vulnerable 

to enemy attack. That same year the agency was removed 

to fifteen miles south of the Yellowstone River on Rosebud Creek. 

Despite heavy Sioux raiding, twelve buildings were erected. Yet 

this area also did not satisfy the Crows. They considered the 

land unsuitable for farming and complained of the huge cattle 

drives heading for the Union Pacific Railroad in southern 

Wyoming. And the agents themselves were worried about 

the proximity of whiskey peddlers. 

In 1880, when the Crows yielded to the Government a 

i ,300,000-acre slice of their reservation, the remaining land 

was allotted to individuals. Payment for the partition was to be 

through yearly amounts earmarked for domestic improvements. 

Then the Crows entered into another treaty granting right 

of way along the Yellowstone to the Northern Pacific Railroad. 

But it was not until April 1884 that the shift began to the third 

and final agency on the Little Bighorn River 7 the first of the 

new inhabitants being those Crows who had made 

some gains in farming. 

ABOUT THREE YEARS after the battle of the Little Bighorn River we 
were camped on the banks of the Bighorn River just south of the pres- 
ent site of Hardin. Already there were fewer buffalo on the plains and 
we had to move frequently to feed ourselves. From there we traveled 
to Elk River, camped briefly close to the Mountain Lion's Lodge, 
and then moved slowly to Arrow Creek. Soon we moved to Fly Creek 

and then into the Bighorn Valley. We needed hides for our tipis and 
a returning war party told of more herds near the Bighorn Mountains. 
After hunting there the chiefs announced that the men were to cut 
dpi poles in the mountains and no one could leave camp for any other 
reason. When we cut enough we returned to Arrow Creek, and then 
Two Belly, Goes Around, and their followers decided to head toward 
Big River while the main camp wintered near the Arrowhead Moun- 
tains. I followed Two Belly and on our way we pitched our tipis 
along the Musselshell River for a few days. 

My medicine father was in Two Belly's camp and invited me to his 
tipi. After our usual smoke and talking about different things he said 
he had made me another medicine. Then he unwrapped a bundle, 
smudged it, sang a song, and told me to look under it. When I did 
this he pointed, asking if I saw about a hundred head of horses. I said 
I could not see them. He said he had been given those horses in a dream 
and told me where to find them once winter set in. 

Medicine Crow and ten others said that when the time came they 
wanted to join me. For some reason our camp did not make the move 
to Big River but traveled farther west along the Musselshell. Every 
day I visited Sees The Living Bull and he promised to tell me when 
to leave. Then the first snows fell and one day he said he had dreamt 
again. I told my friends to be ready at sunup, but wanted them first 
to help me build a large sweat lodge of one hundred and four willows. 
Along with Sees The Living Bull I invited several chiefs and medicine 
men. While we took our bath they prayed for us at the entrance. 

At dawn we rode out of camp. The snow was ankle deep and the 
weather very cold. Reaching Big River we rode along its southern 
shore, building brush shelters each night. Once I dreamt of a man 
standing beside my bed. As I stared he asked if I saw a black horse 
and a gray with some blood marks on its side. He told me to hurry 
because the enemy had left the gray behind and it was mine. 

When I woke it was still dark. I told niy companions about the 
horses and had them prepare a meal As we started to ride, black 
clouds were rushing across the sky and the air was filled with little 
bits of snow which cut our faces. The snowfall grew heavier and we 
stopped to build a brush shelter near Where The Bear Sits Down 

Then a full blizzard was blowing and we stayed in that shelter for 
two days. The morning of the third day broke cold and clear, but 
before leaving I sent a scout to the mountaintop. When the sun was 


in the middle he returned to report a large Sioux camp just across 
Big River. Leading my men around the mountain to the south I found 
both banks of the river solid sheets of ice. Towards the middle, big ice 
blocks tumbled downstream. I told my men that if we stole the 
horses my medicine had promised they could never follow us back 
across. Tonight, I said, we would hide in the thick woods and to- 
morrow we would cross. 

It was cold and quiet as we sat around a low fire listening to the 
Sioux drums. Early the next morning I was looking for a place to 
cross. After leading my men around a bend, Medicine Crow and I cut 
two long poles and built a raft big enough to carry our clothes, weap- 
ons, and medicines. Then we attached two thongs, broke the ice along 
the bank, and pushed it in. When I jumped into the water it was so 
cold I could hardly breathe. Someone handed me a rope and I tried 
to pull my horse while the men on shore whipped it. It reared and 
tugged back but finally we got it in. Medicine Crow followed and we 
each pulled on his horse until it reared backward into the river. Then 
we were suddenly going with the current and struggling for the 
other side. Medicine Crow called out for me to hang onto my rope 
or we would both drown. But the water made me too numb to answer. 
Then one huge ice cake seemed about to hit us or cut us off from 
our raft. The Great Above Person and my medicine must have heard 
my prayers because a current turned it from the raft. We had to push 
smaller blocks out of our way but finally reached the northern shore. 
The ice was too thick to break and the water here seemed more 
powerful, almost pulling us, the raft, and our horses under the sheets 
lining the bank. But as we were carried along I felt gravel, and when 
I walked up, the water was to my waist. Medicine Crow and I climbed 
onto the ice, still holding the raft's thongs. When we got the horses' 
forefeet on the edge their weight broke it and we repeated this until 
they had cut a way for themselves to the bank. 

We were too cold to feel anything and our horses were shivering. 
Leading them into the thick trees we built a fire and put on the dry 
clothes we had wrapped up on the raft. Then we brought the horses 
close to the fire and rubbed them with dry hay. After eating some of 
the meat we had brought, we mounted. The river had carried us a 
little distance down from the Sioux camp. Finally we tied our horses 
to some trees at the base of a high hill and climbed up to judge 
its size. No Sioux were riding in our direction. When we returned 
to our fire it was the middle of the day and the sun felt warm. Our 

men had built two rafts and now they floated across while Medicine 
Crow and I took turns watching the camp. 

When we were all together I told them to take out their medicines 
and paint themselves. I unwrapped the medicine Sees The Living 
Bull had given me of a big hawk's head and tail. Then I made another 
smudge of white pine needles and sang my medicine song: "There is 
another thing I am going to get." 

Holding the hawk's head in my left hand and the tail in my right 
I raised and lowered them over the smudge. As I looked under them 
I said that my medicine had shown me those horses and asked it to 
help me get them tonight. 

Someone asked me to lend him the hawk's head, promising me a 
good horse if he captured any. I tied it to his hair and wore the hawk 
tail fastened to the back of my own head. 

The sun was down by the time we began riding toward their camp. 
As I led them north of the camp, where the land was cut with deep 
coulees, the snow was up to our horses' knees. Coming upon a bunch 
of horses we rounded them up and I left two guards. We ran into an- 
other bunch and when we had them surrounded I chose seven men 
to drive all the horses toward the Wolf Mountains without waiting 
for us. 

Then I heard a Sioux crier announcing something and was sure they 
had discovered us. But when drums began and women started singing 
we knew it was only a celebration. Medicine Crow and I and a man 
whose name I have forgotten rode toward the village to cut horses 
picketed in front of the tipis. As we crossed a path worn down by 
horses going to their feeding grounds we saw a small group of horses 
ahead. While I rode on, Medicine Crow and the other man rounded 
them up. But I ran into more and drove them back without any 

We had captured over a hundred head, the night was still early, and 
we had a good chance to get away. It would bring me greater honors 
to lead them safely back without having killed a man, and I did not 
want to spoil this. I felt that my medicine had kept the Sioux's atten- 
tion off their horses. 

We did not return to our morning camp site, but turned north into 
the hills and made a wide circle westward, leaving a good distance 
between us and the village. We galloped all that night, reaching the 
Wolf Mountains just before daybreak. Coming over a high ridge, we 
saw in the distance the rest of our men with the other horses. 


Then all of us rode through the next day and night, changing 
mounts often. We did not eat or sleep until we reached Big River 
early in the morning and immediately built rafts for our clothes, weap- 
ons, and two men too tired to swim. Medicine Crow and I waited 
until last, keeping the horses from climbing back up the bank. When 
everything was on the other side we crossed. Then I was not so 
afraid the Sioux would catch us and built a fire to warm ourselves 
and dry our clothes. Later we came upon a small buffalo herd and 
I sent four men on good buffalo runners to kill four. That night we 
ate roasted ribs, and cooked enough for the trip back. 

Now there was no danger of being overtaken and we all felt good. 
As I rode I thought of the celebration waiting for us and of the praise 
I would receive for being leader. I pictured the older men leading me 
through camp, singing songs about me, and calling out my name. I 
was so happy I sang my medicine song: "Anywhere I go, I thank 

The bunch of horses running before us looked so fine I could not 
help myself and sang my song again. 

We found our camp on the other side of Heart Mountain on Plum 
Creek. As we came into sight and fired our guns everyone came out 
to greet us. We rode into the center of camp, the women started to 
dance and sing, and some men pulled out their drums. Thirty-three 
horses were mine and each man also had a good bunch. When our 
story was told I received more praise than ever before. 

Years later I learned that we had captured those horses from Sitting 
Bull's camp on its way to Canada. 1 


Chapter Thirty-One 

Although the Crows were starting to live in permanent 

homes, till their fields, and send their children to schools, they 

continued raiding. Wrote Agent H. Williamson in 1886, "With 

the Cronus much trouble is occasioned. They desire to pursue 

the thieves and retaliate in kind, which is very natural. . . ." 

A year later, the Swordbearer incident occurred. In 2888, 

Tiuo Leggings undertook this revenge trail against the Sioux, 

supposedly the last Crow war party. A letter -from the 

Commissioner of Indian Affairs in 1887 to a ^ ^ s agents had 

done much to halt these raids by prohibiting intertribal visits 

and outlawing absences from the reservation without 

government permission. 

Crows did not like to speak of the following years. As Two 

Leggings recalled his people's feelings during the thirty - five-year 

interval until his death, "their hearts were on the ground" By 

1923 the reservation was roughly a third its original acreage and 

the Crow population had dropped to 2,7*72. The scarred warriors 

tried to farm their allotted lands, but they lived in their 

memories* Two Leggings welcomed his approaching death 

and told Wildschut, "Soon I shall live again those days of which 

I now only dream, soon I shall hunt the buffalo" 

THREE YEARS BEFORE THIS HAPPENED the Government forbade our 
raids, but sometimes a man gathered a party and sneaked away. I was 
already living in a more permanent camp on the Bighorn River where 
I later built my house. The buffalo were gone and we received weekly 
annuities from Fort Custer, built on a ridge top across the river from 
my ripi. It was early summer and the rivers were swollen, but the 
soldiers had made a ferry. 1 


One ration day Pretty Old Man, who was camped with us, and I 
arranged to cross the ferry and then ride to the ration house. I went 
to choose a horse from my herd grazing along the timbered bottom 
that lines the Bighorn .River. After catching one I rode toward the 
low ridge bordering the western valley wall, wondering if Pretty 
Old Man's horse had strayed. Usually it did not take him this long. 

Reaching the crest of a coulee I saw him sitting on the ground not 
far away. As he made signs for me to stop he shouted that someone 
had stolen his horses and that their tracks led north. 

My wife had followed behind me. When she caught up I told her 
to ride to the ferry and tell our friends that I was leading a raid, even 
if I had to go into Piegan country. 

After she left, Pretty Old Man and I rode double back to my horses. 
I caught a fast, long-winded horse for him and we returned to my 
home to collect our medicines and weapons. Pretty Old Man's wife 
and children were crying inside his tipi. It had become almost impos- 
sible to replace horses. 

On the way to the ferry we met One Leg, White Clay On The 
Forehead, and Eagle riding to meet us. Four inexperienced men with 
them were very eager to chase the enemy. All lived close by and went 
for their weapons and medicines. When they returned we found 
enemy tracks on a ridge leading into the Pine Ridge Hills. Farther 
on we stopped so I could scan the country with my telescope and 
see if any more were joining us, but I saw no one. When we 
stopped again to rest our horses and dry our saddlecloths Pretty Old 
Man, who had hung behind, rode up crying over his horses. Putting 
his arms around my neck he asked me to make medicine so we could 
catch them. I said I would try to cut them off, but promised that 
if I could not locate them we would keep on their trail. 

I had Pretty Old Man fill and light my pipe while I unwrapped my 
medicine. Then I took it from him and drew several times, pointing 
the stem towards the enemy each time and asking it to smoke them 
to sleep so I could prepare my ambush. I spoke to the One Up There 
In The Sky and said he had taught me to do this. I asked him to help 
as he had many times before. 

When I asked White Clay On The Forehead which earth creatures 
move very slowly he said that one of the slowest was the beetle that 
rolls manure into little balls and pushes them along the ground. 

I said he was right and had a man find me one. Making a smudge 
and building a little earth bank across the enemy trail, I took the 

beetle and waited for it to crawl over. I showed Pretty Old Man 
how it fell backward each time it tried. 

Then I made another smudge of white pine needles and held my 
medicine in it. After singing my medicine song and blowing my 
whistle I lifted the medicine to my eyes. The second time I blew my 
whistle I moved the medicine up and down. Something white was 
thrown into the air and fell into some rose bushes which grew in a 
certain place along Elk River. I told my men the enemy was sleeping 
in Elk River Valley and we would take a shorter route. 

One Leg asked me to let them rest a little longer. While I was 
making medicine he had noticed three more friends racing to meet us. 
Pretty Old Man was still walking around crying and I told him that 
he had seen me make medicine, that we would find his horses in Elk 
River Valley not far from the Mountain Lion's Lodge. 

When Buffalo Calf, Fence, and Bird Fire joined us we left the 
northern trail and rode west toward the present town of Toluca. 
From there we went to Fly Creek, which we followed to Elk River, 
keeping away from the rough Pine Ridge Hills. 

The railroad had already been built and a section house stood where 
we finally came out of a creek bottom, close to the present town of 
Ballantine. 2 1 halted the men to point out the grove where I had seen the 
blanket fall, about four miles away. We were hidden by the trees 
around the section house. 

Then an eagle rose from the grove, dropped to the ground near us, 
and sat for a moment before heading toward the mountains. I told my 
men the eagle had told me Piegans were in those trees and now it was 
flying home. We rode quietly until someone spotted horses tied to 
bushes. But the three men I sent after them woke the Piegans, who 
burst out as if crazy. One took his gun but left his cartridge belt and 
knife behind; the other two stumbled into the undergrowth along the 
river. I noticed one wore a white blanket like the man in my vision. 

After all our stolen horses were rounded up we mounted fresh. One 
Leg started ahead, yelling that since he was a cripple he might as well 
die now. I called him back to wait until I had gathered all the men in 
a tight bunch and ridden around them singing my medicine song. 
Then I unwrapped my medicine and saw under it another vision of 
the falling white blanket. The other men had also unwrapped their 
bundles and now each fastened his to his hair or wherever it was re- 
quired to go. 

Thunder sounded from the west and I knew they might escape if 


One ration day Pretty Old Man, who was camped with us, and I 
arranged to cross the ferry and then ride to the ration house. I went 
to choose a horse from my herd grazing along the timbered bottom 
that lines the Bighorn .River. After catching one I rode toward the 
low ridge bordering the western valley wall, wondering if Pretty 
Old Man's horse had strayed. Usually it did not take him this long. 

Reaching the crest of a coulee I saw him sitting on the ground not 
far away. As he made signs for me to stop he shouted that someone 
had stolen his horses and that their tracks led north. 

My wife had followed behind me. When she caught up I told her 
to ride to the ferry and tell our friends that I was leading a raid, even 
if I had to go into Piegan country. 

After she left, Pretty Old Man and I rode double back to my horses. 
I caught a fast, long-winded horse for him and we returned to my 
home to collect our medicines and weapons. Pretty Old Man's wife 
and children were crying inside his tipi. It had become almost impos- 
sible to replace horses. 

On the way to the ferry we met One Leg, White Clay On The 
Forehead, and Eagle riding to meet us. Four inexperienced men with 
them were very eager to chase the enemy. All lived close by and went 
for their weapons and medicines. When they returned we found 
enemy tracks on a ridge leading into the Pine Ridge Hills. Farther 
on we stopped so I could scan the country with my telescope and 
see if any more were joining us, but I saw no one. When we 
stopped again to rest our horses and dry our saddlecloths Pretty Old 
Man, who had hung behind, rode up crying over his horses. Putting 
his arms around my neck he asked me to make medicine so we could 
catch them. I said I would try to cut them off, but promised that 
if I could not locate them we would keep on their trail. 

I had Pretty Old Man fill and light my pipe while I unwrapped my 
medicine. Then I took it from him and drew several times, pointing 
the stem towards the enemy each time and asking it to smoke them 
to sleep so I could prepare my ambush. I spoke to the One Up There 
In The Sky and said he had taught me to do this. I asked him to help 
as he had many times before. 

When I asked White Clay On The Forehead which earth creatures 
move very slowly he said that one of the slowest was the beetle that 
rolls manure into little balls and pushes them along the ground. 

I said he was right and had a man find me one. Making a smudge 
and building a little earth bank across the enemy trail, I took the 

beetle and waited for it to crawl over. I showed Pretty Old Man 
how it fell backward each time it tried. 

Then I made another smudge of white pine needles and held my 
medicine in it. After singing rny medicine song and blowing my 
whistle I lifted the medicine to my eyes. The second time I blew my 
whistle I moved the medicine up and down. Something white was 
thrown into the air and fell into some rose bushes which grew in a 
certain place along Elk River. I told my men the enemy was sleeping 
in Elk River Valley and we would take a shorter route. 

One Leg asked me to let them rest a little longer. While I was 
making medicine he had noticed three more friends racing to meet us. 
Pretty Old Man was still walking around crying and I told him that 
he had seen me make medicine, that we would find his horses in Elk 
River Valley not far from the Mountain Lion's Lodge. 

When Buffalo Calf, Fence, and Bird Fire joined us we left the 
northern trail and rode west toward the present town of Toluca. 
From there we went to Fly Creek, which we followed to Elk River, 
keeping away from the rough Pine Ridge Hills. 

The railroad had already been built and a section house stood where 
we finally came out of a creek bottom, close to the present town of 
Ballantine. 2 1 halted the men to point out the grove where I had seen the 
blanket fall, about four miles away. We were hidden by the trees 
around the section house. 

Then an eagle rose from the grove, dropped to the ground near us, 
and sat for a moment before heading toward the mountains. I told my 
men the eagle had told me Piegans were in those trees and now it was 
flying home. We rode quietly until someone spotted horses tied to 
bushes. But the three men I sent after them woke the Piegans, who 
burst out as if crazy. One took his gun but left his cartridge belt and 
knife behind; the other two stumbled into the undergrowth along the 
river. I noticed one wore a white blanket like the man in my vision. 

After all our stolen horses were rounded up we mounted fresh. One 
Leg started ahead, yelling that since he was a cripple he might as well 
die now. I called him back to wait until I had gathered all the men in 
a tight bunch and ridden around them singing my medicine song. 
Then I unwrapped my medicine and saw under it another vision of 
the falling white blanket. The other men had also unwrapped their 
bundles and now each fastened his to his hair or wherever it was re- 
quired to go. 

Thunder sounded from the west and I knew they might escape if 


we did not kill them before the rain. Just as in my vision, we saw them 
trying to hide in the bushes. We dismounted when we were within 
gunshot, covering all three sides, the river at their backs. Buffalo Calf 
remounted to ride over to me but was shot off his horse. When One 
Leg ran from his tree the man with the white blanket shot but missed. 
The second time I fired back I broke his gunstock and wounded 
him. As he tried to run away I shot him in the back and he fell. 

Then the rain poured so heavily we could hardly see the bushes. The 
thunder was very loud and there was much lightning. We found shel- 
ter, but when the storm was over it was too dark to follow. 

The night grew so cold we went to the section house and asked the 
man in charge if we could stay, making him understand that we were 
Crows. He said it was all right if we carried in some firewood. We tied 
our horses, leaving Pretty Old Man outside to guard them, built a fire, 
brought in some firewood, and went to sleep. We were all very hun- 
gry but had brought no food. During the night Pretty Old Man woke 
me to say that two men were riding toward the section house. I joined 
him outside, telling him to shoot if they approached our horses. As 
they came onto the flat I saw they were two white men wearing hats. 
We shared their hot tea, canned beef and tongue, and crackers, and 
slept until dawn. 

There was no need to be careful as we rode down river; whoever 
had been left alive would be far away. Riding over to the bushes, I 
found the Piegan's body. After scalping his whole head I cut it into 
four parts, giving one to White Eye, one to Short Bull, and keeping 
the other two. Also I carried away his rifle. We discovered that they 
were Sioux and not Piegans. (Years later, after peace was made be- 
tween all tribes, I learned that this man had been a chiefs son.) 

When we returned to our camp we drove the captured horses 
through the tipis and I carried my scalp pieces tied to the end of a 
long pole. Soon the camp was alive, men brought out their drums, and 
the women began the scalp dance. I led the singing: "Across the river 
in those rough hills there is a scalp.' 5 

Everyone joined in. For several days there was feasting and dancing. 
I was invited everywhere and told the story over and over again. 

We were happy. Now it seems so long ago. It all changed. The Gov- 
ernment would not let us leave the reservation. We even had to have 
special permission to hunt. 

Shortly after this raid the commander at Fort Custer, whom we 
called Lump Nose, sent for me. 3 I expected him to put me in prison, 

but I still went. When I entered his room he stood up to shake my hand 
and I felt better. He asked what had happened and after I had finished 
he said that enemies had stolen my horses and I had got them back, 
killing one of the thieves. He said I had done well. When he asked if 
I wanted something to eat I said yes and he went to a bureau and took 
out a coin. Saying he was my friend he told me to get something I 
liked. Again he shook my hand and I thanked him. When I got out- 
side I looked at the strange gift. But when I went to the store and 
found all the things I could buy with the five-dollar gold piece, I 

Nothing happened after that. We just lived. There were no more 
war parties, no capturing of horses from the Piegans and the Sioux, 
no buif alo to hunt. There is nothing more to tell. 


Selected bibliography 

CURTIS, EDWARD S. The North American Indian. 20 vols. Norwood, 
Massachusetts: 1907-1930. 

DENIG, EDWIN THOMPSON. Five Indian Tribes of the Upper Missouri. 
Edited and with an Introduction by John C. Ewers. Norman: 
'University of Oklahoma Press, 1961. 

LINDERMAN, FRANK BIRD. Old Man Coyote. New York: The John Day 
Co., 1931. 

. Plenty Coups, Chief of the Crows. Lincoln: University of Ne- 
braska Press, 1962. 
-. Red Mother. New York: The John Day Co., 1932. 

LOWIE, ROBERT EL The Crow Indians. New York: Holt, Rinehart and 
Winston, Inc., 1956. 

. Crow Texts. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of Califor- 
nia, 1960. 

. Indians of the Plains. Garden City, New York: The Natural 

History Press, 1963. 
-. Anthropological Papers, American Museum of Natural His- 

tory, New York: 
The Material Culture of the Crow Indians. Vol. XXI, Part III, 

Religion of the Crow Indians. Vol. XXV, Part II, 1922. 

Social Life of the Crow Indians. Vol. IX, Part II, 1912. 

MARQUIS, THOMAS EL Memoirs of a White Crow Indian. New York: 

The Century Company, 1928. 

WILDSCHUT, WILLIAM; and EWERS, JOHN C. Crow Indian Medicine 
Bundles. (Contributions, Vol. XVII.) New York: Museum of the 
American Indian, Heye Foundation, 1960. 


Chapter One 

1. Wildschut originally used "sleeps" for days, "moons" for months, and 
"snows" for years. According to Crow informants Joseph Medicine 
Crow and Roger Stops, only "moons" is accurate. If one wanted to say 
how long it took to travel somewhere or to do something one would 
use ba-ko-a, a short word referring to how many times the sun came 
up. These present-day informants agree with Lowie's names for the 
four seasons: winter, ba're; spring, bl'aivukase^; summer, bi'awakee^; 
and autumn, base. Lowie adds that years were designated as "winters." 
He corroborates Two Leggings' use of colorful phrases identifying 
seasons: when the ice breaks, when the leaves sprout, when the berries 
are ripe, when the leaves turn yellow, when the leaves fall, and when 
the first snow falls. Specific years were remembered by some signifi- 
cant event attached to them (Social Life of the Crow Indians, p. 242). 

2. Since clans were exogamous one had to marry into a clan other than 
one's own they could never be purely separate residential groups. 
While Two Leggings or Wildschut would seem to mean here the 
coming together of the three tribal divisions, Curtis does note the in- 
dependence of certain clans, specifically the numerically strong "Whis- 
tling Waters, who around 1850 would absent themselves from the main 
body for long hunting expeditions and were probably an incipient 
fourth tribal division (The North American Indian, Vol. IV, 1909, 
P- 43)- 

Chapter Two 

i. No major figure in a Crow orphan myth bears the name of Bear White 
Child. However, Wildschut obtained the skull medicine bundle of one 
White Child (Crow Indian Medicine Bundles, pp. 79-80). Lowie men- 
tioned the tooth from a White Cub, "the greatest of Crow Shamans" 
(Religion of the Crow Indians, p. 420). Finally, Plenty Coups told 


Wildschut of a famous skull medicine bundle of Bear White Child 
which he had seen opened by Bear in The Water and Yellow Bull 
(Wildschut, Unpublished Papers). Quite possibly an historical person- 
age is being placed in the murky realm of Crow quasi-historical legend. 

Chapter Three 

1. The Blackfeet nation consisted of three bands. Ewers writes: "They 
are the Pikuni or Piegan (pronounced Pay-gan'), the Kainah or Blood, 
and the Siksika or Blackfoot proper, often referred to as the Northern 
Blackfeet to distinguish it from the other two tribes. The three tribes 
were politically independent. But they spoke the same language, shared 
the same customs (with the exception of a few ceremonial rituals), 
intermarried, and made war upon common enemies" (John C. Ewers, 
The Blackfeet, Raiders of the Northwestern Plains [Norman: Uni- 
versity of Oklahoma Press, 1958], p. 5). 

2. When the Crows smoked to sanctify a get-together and assure the 
speaking of truth, they usually filled the red-stone pipe bowls with 
traders' tobacco mixed with the leaf of a certain ground vine called 
opice. In recent times red willow bark is smoked (Lowie, The Material 
Culture of the Croiv Indians, p. 234). 

However, I found the old mixture still used, with Bull Durham sub- 
stituted for traders' tobacco and a third ingredient of a few shavings 
from a root traded from the Nez Perce added to each bowl. 

3. Wildschut noted here: "During the last few moments of our talk a 
close friend of Two Leggings, Bull Does Not Fall Down, had silently 
seated himself next to me. When Two Leggings finished he spoke to 
me, 'I was in camp when Shows His Wing's party returned and I re- 
member how Two Leggings, then called Big Crane, was praised. He 
did not tell me until many summers later that his words had not been 
straight. But he had only been a boy and we laughed about it.' " 

4. Curtis reports the custom in reverse: If one of your father's clan broth- 
ers falls down before you it is necessary to say "Stop! Do not rise" and 
to present him with a gift before he stands (The North American 
Indian, Vol. IV, 1909, p. 24). 

Chapter Four 

1. Curtis described the Crows' first knives, which they obtained from the 
Gros Ventres, as having blue-dyed bone handles (The North Ameri- 
can Indian, Vol. IV, 1909, p. 46). 

2. Unlike the Hidatsa and Mandan, the Crows did not employ the cup- 
shaped bull boat for transporting men and supplies. Lowie describes 


their two methods of water transportation: "In case of a small party 
with horses, three sticks were arranged to form a triangle, or four to 
make a rectangle, and a hide was spread over and fastened securely to 
the edges. This raft was then towed by the horses. Larger parties made 
their frame of parallel tipi poles with the required number of hides 
over them, the cargo being put on top. 

"The other method was to place several buffalo hides on top of one 
another and run a gathering-string round the edge of the lowest one, 
causing the robes to assume a globular form. The articles to be kept 
dry were put in with a stone ballast and the skins were towed by means 
of a line. In shallow water the tower pulled the contrivance by hand, 
otherwise he swam holding the line between his teeth" (The Material 
Culture of the Crow Indians, p. 219). 

3. Plenty Coups remembers a famous Chief Long Horse who was killed 
fighting Sioux sometime after the erection of Fort Maginniss, 1880 
(Linderman, Plenty Coups, Chief of the Crows, pp. 278-284). Luther 
S. Kelly remembered riding by "the funeral lodge of Long Horse, a 
noted Crow chief who was killed at the head of his warriors while 
charging hostile Sioux concealed in thick bush and timber," in the 
summer of 1875 (Yellowstone Kelly, The Memoirs of Luther S. Kelly, 
ed. by M. M. Quaife. [New Haven: Yale University Press, 1926] p. 
117). And a Crow chief named Long Horse signed the 1873 agree- 
ment for removal of their reservation to the Judith Basin, a treaty 
which, incidentally, was never ratified. 

According to the Crow agency records the only chief named 
Crooked Arm was born in 1855, which would not only make him 
about five years old when he attains here the position as head chief, 
but would make him eight years old when, as a Sun Dance medicine 
man, he guides Two Leggings through his first ordeal. Plenty Coups' 
date would provide him with ample years to take over the office. 

Untangling such discrepancies is impossible. Two Leggings' own 
chronology of seasons pursuing seasons suffers four complete breaks 
in sequence. Wildschut had little corroboratory data on hand to check 
the discontinuous oral history. Agency records for such early years 
are often quite incorrect. And, sometimes more than one individual 
bore the same name. 

4. Earlier, Two Leggings had named Grey Dog leader of the Kicked In 
The Bellies. Whatever the reason for the shift now, Leforge agrees 
that Sits In The Middle Of The Land was the leader of the Kicked In 
The Bellies (Marquis, Memoirs of a White Crow Indian, p. 142). 

Known to the whites as Blackfoot, he appears to have been the most 
influential Crow policy maker in the third quarter of the nineteenth 
century. Curtis describes him as "about six foot two inches in height, 


proportionately heavy, and with muscles of a Hercules." He died about 
1877 (Op. cit.,p. 51). 

Chapter Five 

i. There is no clear picture of the Crow pantheon. Wildschut and Curtis 
seem to agree that the prime creator was called Starter Of All Things 
(Wildschut, Crow Indian Medicine Bundles, p. i), First Worker, or 
He First Made All Things (Curtis, The North American Indian, Vol. 
IV, 1909, p. 52). Leforge told his biographer that the English transla- 
tion of the Crow word for god was First Maker (Marquis, Memoirs 
of a White Crow Indian, p. 134). 

But a second term used by Leforge, Person Above (Marquis, Op. tit., 
p. 134), appears to be the one Wildschut says is a more recent desig- 
nation, The Above Person With Yellow Eyes or The Great Above 
Person (Op. cit., p, i). Lowie's The One Above is probably this deity 
(The Crow Indians, p. 252). 

It is generally agreed that the only term Plenty Coups gave Linder- 
man for god, "Ah-bahdt-dadt-deah," is a relatively recent attempt to 
approximate the white man's conception. Wildschut translates this 
third name as He Who Does Everything (Op. cit., p. i); Lowie as 
The Maker Of Everything (Op. cit., p. 252); and Linderman as The 
One Who Made All Things (Plenty Coups, Chief of the Crows, p. 

79)' , - *. 

To further confuse matters Two Leggings prays, apparently indis- 
criminately, to First Worker, his medicine person, the sun, Bear Above, 
Great Above Person, and The One In The Sky. Lowie asked: "Is he 
(the sun) or is he not equated with The One Above, whom the 
Indians sometimes addressed in prayer? Probably so, but it is impos- 
sible to tell with assurance. Is he the originator of the Indians and the 
shaper of the earth? That, too, remains a problem .... There is a 
real dilemma here. To treat the sun and Old Man Coyote as synony- 
mous does indeed reserve for the single most eminent figure of ritual 
the role of the creator. But it also saddles the sun with all the grossness, 
the low cunning and lechery of the trickster [Old Man Coyote]" 
(Op. cit., p. 252). 

Linderman voices like confusion: "Their stories ... are often with- 
out form to me, and I can understand why the sun and Old-Man, or 
Old Man Coyote, have so often been confounded" (Old Man Coyote, 
p. 13). 

Curtis' definition of the sun as "his [He First Made All Things] 
counterpart" (Vol. IV, 1909, p. 52) provides a possible explana- 
tion. Lowie deduced that the Crows were "not philosophers but 
opportunists" (Op. cit., p. 253). Old Man Coyote, the sun, and First 

Worker were perhaps manifestations of the same being, each called 
forth upon an occasion appropriate to its characteristics. Thus this 
chapter's two creation stories are not mutually exclusive. When First 
Worker effects the first creation of man it coincides with his creation 
of the world and assumes an all-encompassing, epic tone. The second 
origin-of-mankind tale, realized through the marital advice of Old 
Man Coyote, has a more colloquial feeling and uses established Crow 
cultural features, the rock spirit and the sacred tobacco plant, as if the 
Crow ideological framework had existed in the absence of its adher- 
ents. Wildschut heard the rock and tobacco version more than a year 
before he was told the first, more common story; the same individual 
could find a second version suitable, and not contradictory, upon a 
different occasion. In the second story the emphasis is possibly on, as 
Wildschut parenthetically noted: "The symbolic representation of the 
everlasting and reoccuring fertilization of the inorganic with the or- 
ganic life on earth." 

2. The Crow sweat lodge is an oblong dome about six feet long, five feet 
wide, and four feet high, built on an east-west axis. Its framework of 
intertwined willow branches is covered with canvas or blankets. In the 
middle of the lodge a small pit is dug. A large fire is built a few yards 
from the eastern entrance of the lodge and in it stones are laid to heat. 
When the bathers are inside a helper passes four red-hot stones into 
the pit, one at a time, carrying them on forked sticks. Then the re- 
maining stones are put into the pit and a bucket of water with a cup 
is passed inside. After the door flap is dropped one of the bathers says 
a prayer and pours four cups of water on the stones. Hot steam fills 
the darkened interior. After a while the flap is raised to let in fresh 
air. When it is closed a second time the "water chief" empties seven 
cups on the stones; following another cooling-off period he pours ten 
cups. After a final breather an indefinite number of cupfuls are poured, 
called "million wishes." When the bathers have had enough the door 
flap is raised a final time and they run for the river. Sometimes switches 
of sage or buffalo tails are used within to bring the heat upon the body. 
On more ceremonial occasions live coals are taken inside before any 
water has been sprinkled. Pine needles or bear root shavings are laid 
on them and prayers are spoken. 

3. WUdschut noted that cannibalism was repugnant to the Crows. The 
eating of the heart or liver of an enemy was never practiced, and 
Crows believed that anyone who did this would have his mouth 
twisted. "Eaten" stands for the absorption of the dead soul by the 
winning clan. 

4. Wildschut said this personage was called "Isteremurexposhe." 


5. Wildschut gave this man's name as "Batseesh." 

6. Two Leggings told Wildschut that the use of rock medicines depended 
on the instruction the dreamer received. Some rocks were war medi- 
cines, some helped to steal horses, others were used for doctoring or 
simply to gain wealth and live a long life. Wildschut says that the 
Crow name for rock medicine was bacorhse. He explains: "The same 
name applied to all peculiarly-shaped rocks, and particularly to all 
fossils [ammonites and baculites] found on the surface of the earth. 
All rocks to which this term applies are sacred, but they are not all 
considered medicine. This distinction is important, because all 'rocks' 
that are considered medicine were first seen in dreams and visions" 
(Op. cit., p. 90). 

Chapter Six 

1. In 1877 Fort Custer was built on a high mesa above the junction of 
the Bighorn and the Little Bighorn rivers to stop the Sioux invasion of 
the Yellowstone Valley. 

2. Edward S. Curtis photographed a Blackfeet medicine-pipe carrier from 
whose forehead protruded "the distinctive coiled hairdo of his station" 
(The American Heritage Book of Indians [New York: American 
Heritage Publishing Company, Inc., 1961] p. 332). 

Chapter Seven 

1. On the site of a temporary stockade erected in 1847, the trader Alex- 
ander Culbertson built this adobe fort and christened it on Christmas 
Day, 1850, in honor of the Missouri senator Thomas Hart Benton. 

2. Built in 1866 of adobe and logs as one of the posts to protect the 
Bozeman trail, Fort C. F. Smith was burned to the ground in 1868 
by Red Cloud's Sioux after the Government agreed that all country 
east of the Bighorn Mountains was to be regarded as western exten- 
sion of the Sioux's Dakota reservation. 

3. Curtis says of the Crow camps: "Their customary camps were along 
the mountain streams, where the lodges were commonly placed in 
a circle, but at times, where the valley was narrow, they were close 
together, paralleling the wooded watercourse" (The North Ameri- 
can Indian, Vol. IV, 1909, p. 5). "The members of each clan camped 
together" (Ibid., p. 25). But according to Lowie's data: "The camp 
circle was not regularly employed by the Crow and there was no 
definite arrangement of clans within it when it was used" (The Ma- 
terial Culture of the Crow Indians, p. 222). Plenty Coups recalled 
such a circle as a protective device: "The War-clubs [Lumpwoods] 


selected a site In the Bighorn valley and ordered the village set up 
in seven small circles, themselves making a great circle with the chief's 
lodges pitched in the center. This arrangement was a warning to us 
all that trouble was near, that our Wolves had seen something to be 
afraid of" (Linderman, Plenty Coups, Chief of the Crows, p. 123). 

Chapter Eight 
i. Wildschut noted that he was unable to translate this name. 

Chapter Nine 

i. At this point Two Leggings interjected: "On a fast much later I 
dreamt about the Sun Dance doll and therefore had the right to own 
one of these bundles. Instead of making one I bought the bundle used 
during this ceremony from Goes Around All The Time [Sees The 
Living Bull]. Its first owner was a man I will call Has No Name and 
soon after I acquired it Crooked Arm told me its history." Wildschut 
notes that this bundle was known to have been used in at least four 
Sun Dance ceremonies: those of Holds The Young Buffalo Tail, Puts 
Earth On Top Of His Head, Shows His Face, and Sees The Living 
Bull (Crow Indian Medicine Bundles, pp. 26-29). 

Chapter Ten 

1. This means the tobacco plant, the core of a most important Crow 
ceremony. Two Leggings told Wildschut that he later used the To- 
bacco society's adoption ceremony to gain Sees The Living Bull's 
goodwill because he had heard this song. 

Lowie identifies the plant as Nicotiana multivalvis and explains 
that it was never smoked and was mystically associated with the stars 
(The Crow Indians, p. 274). Around its sowing, cultivation, and har- 
vesting were organized an indefinite number of societal chapters which 
perpetuated themselves through elaborate adoption ceremonies. 

2. This also happens to be the Crow word for east. Curtis says that the 
Crows believed the sun descended into water, passed around to another 
zenith, and then came out of the water (The North American Indian, 
Vol. IV, 1909, p. 191). 

Chapter Twelve 

i. At this point Two Leggings commented: "I did not understand what 
he meant. Later I realized that he was trying to tell me that I would 
become a well-known chief. I also think he was telling me that one 
day a white man would be sent to write my life in a book so that peo- 


pie all over the earth would read my story. You are the one to tell 
about my life and it will soon travel all over the earth." 

Chapter Thirteen 

1. Wildschut noted that among the Crows two or more men who had 
been close friends and wished to strengthen this relationship could 
make a complete exchange of weapons and clothing. From then on 
they were "partners" and closer than brothers, sharing even their wives 
and duty bound to come to each other's aid. Lowie says that this bond, 
each becoming the other's Vrapcftse, could even affect the next genera- 
tion. He adds that men who called each other by this term and shared 
sweethearts would then call each other biru'pxekyata, "my little 
father," the diminutive form of biru'pxe, which means father but was 
never used in direct address (The Crow Indians, p. 42). 

2. Lowie identifies this as the root of a plant belonging to the carrot fam- 
ily (Leptotaenia multifida Nutt.). It is called ise, spelled esah by Wild- 
schut, and was used as ceremonial incense and as a cure-all. Lowie was 
told that its name referred to the fact that bears supposedly fatten on 
it in winter (Ibid., p. 63). 

3. The impression here is that the Belt Mountains lie north of the Mis- 
souri, which is not so. Present-day River Crows, having lived almost 
all their lives in the Mountain Crow region where their reservation 
was established, have forgotten the Crow terms for locations in their 
old northern homeland. Only guesses can be made for many of these 
sites along the Missouri and northward which are named by Two 

Chapter Fourteen 

i. Speaking of Crow hair styles, Curtis observed: "The Absaroke, more- 
over, greatly increased its natural length by working in other hair, so 
that sometimes the strands were so long as to almost touch the ground. 
Some of the men continued this fashion to within the last thirty years. 
On ceremonial occasions many of the young men imitated this man- 
ner of hair dressing by having many long locks fastened to a band worn 
at the back of the head. Both the real hair and the introduced strands 
were decorated from end to end with spots of red pigment" (The 
North American Indian, Vol. IV, 1909, p. 23). 

These red spots were actually balls of pitch which Lowie says were 
matted into the inch-wide hair belts to keep the interwoven strands 
which had been cut during mourning and saved from blowing about 
(The Material Culture of the Crow Indians, p. 228). 

2. See Note 2, Chapter Four. 

3. When Plenty Coups saw a Plum Creek he was somewhere in the 
Judith Basin, less than a morning's ride from a place he called Two 
Buttes (Linderman, Plenty Coups, Chief of the Crows, p. 207). About 
ten miles due east of the center of the Judith River's length is a present- 
day settlement named Plum Creek. Two Leggings mentions Plum 
Creek frequently, speaks of a trader at its head and mouth, and des- 
cribes its running into the Missouri. Leforge remembers trading with 
a man the Crows called "Blackbeard," Tom Bowyer, at his store at 
Fort Browning "where the Judith flows into the Missouri" (Marquis, 
Memoirs of a White Crow Indian, p. 60). The evidence indicates that 
Plum Creek is the Judith River, generally in the center of old River 
Crow territory. 

Chapter Fifteen 

1. Two Leggings paused to tell Wildschut: "She is still alive now, living 
in Lodge Grass, the grandmother of No Horse." 

2. It is doubtful whether Wildschut's term for what is more commonly 
known among North American Indian tribes as "berdache," in Crow 
bate, is biologically correct. Lowie says: "Anatomically a berdache is 
said to be indistinguishable from male infants at birth, but as he grows 
up his weak voice sets him off from other boys" (The Crow Indians, 
p. 48). Most early accounts of the Crow note the existence of these de- 
viates. They practised women's crafts, wore women's clothing, and 
pretended to have men lovers. Lowie says that this duty of cutting the 
first Sun Dance pole customarily fell to a berdache. 

3. As Lowie explains this reluctance to ride the poles and the giving of 
gifts: "The police were closely watching the crowd, for the young 
braves now to be chosen for sitting on the logs tried to run away, since 
the first four or, according to others, all twenty thereby assumed 
the duty of never retreating from an enemy. So the young men would 
take to their heels, but were pursued by die police or the Whistler's 
kin, who rode fast horses. ... In any event, the kin of all the log- 
straddlers put down before the young men such property as robes or 
beadwork, and little sticks to symbolize horses as gifts. All went to 
the Doll Owner, but after appropriating what he pleased he distrib- 
uted the rest among the people who helped in the performances" 
(Op. cit.,pp. 313-314).^ 

By naming the recipients of the gifts as the pole-riders' relatives, 
Two Leggings is possibly meaning the clan aid upon which those rela- 
tives will draw to fulfil the obligations described by Lowie. 


Chapter Sixteen 

i. Curtis identified Old Dog as a Mountain Crow who belonged to the 
Lump wood military club. He lost many wives to the Foxes and once 
had a hawk medicine reclaimed by its original owner because he 
took back a stolen wife, a disgraceful exhibition of weakness (The 
North American Indian, Vol. IV, 1909, p. 203). 

Chapter Nineteen 

i. Wildschut obtained from Cold Wind the original medicine bundle of 
which this was a copy. Its contents tallied exactly with Two Leggings' 
description, including the yellow-painted flute carved with representa- 
tions of elk heads. Any Crow bundle depicting this animal and colored 
yellow suggests love medicine, but Cold Wind told Wildschut that 
although the bundle possessed that power it was never used as such. 

Chapter Twenty -One 

i. In Wagner and Allen's description of the post: "Hoskin and McGirl's 
trading post, located just below Baker's battlefield, where the town of 
Huntley now stands, was doing a thriving business. It was a horse 
market, a chamber of commerce, a social center, the Mecca toward 
which trails of all plainsmen eventually led" (Glendolin Damon 
Wagner and Dr. William A. Allen, Blankets and Moccasins, Plenty 
Coups and His People, the Cwivs. [Caldwell, Idaho: The Caxton 
Printers, Ltd., 1936] p. 167). 

Chapter Twenty-Two 

1. Wildschut noted that his medicine was probably obtained from a visit- 
ing Nez Perce or Gros Ventre [Hidatsa]. 

2. Red Bear, whom Two Leggings earlier mentioned as the chief of the 
Mountain Crows, is described by Curtis as a young leader of such 
renown that he "covered up" the older men. Besides giving him the 
power of prophecy, his medicine, the morning star, enabled him to 
"hold back the coming day when it appeared inopportunely" (The 
North American Indian, Vol. IV, 1909, p. 50). 

Curtis says that he met his death in 1862, stubbornly confronting an 
opposing force of Sioux and Cheyenne with only one other compan- 
ion because he had been insulted by a fellow tribesman. The similarity 
in medicine powers and his chief's status indicates this was the same 
individual Two Leggings recalls, but then Curtis' date for his demise 

would have to be a little early, since the events in this chapter occurred 
circa 1869-70. 

3. Curtis labels Iron Bull as "the richest man in the tribe," whose reputa- 
tion came from his unusual generosity rather than his outstanding 
battlefield behavior. A head chief, he died in 1886 (Ibid., p. 81). 

Chapter Twenty -Three 

i. When the wrappings on a scaffold burial wore away a relative would 
sometimes take home the skull. On occasion the relative would also 
have a dream in which the deceased would explain certain medicine 
powers possessed by the skull and would prescribe the skull's care and 
give associated songs and rituals. Usually these were the skulls of great 
medicine men or of people who had the ghosts as their medicine. 

The central object of this bundle is said to be the skull of Braided 
Tail, one of the most famous Crow medicine men, who had lived five 
or six generations before. The bundle became an oracle to its succes- 
sive owners, informing them on raids of the proximity of an enemy 
and telling them how many men would be killed at a certain location. 
In time of famine it would instruct the owner where to find game. It 
could tell a sick person if he were going to die or if he could be cured, 
and it could locate lost property. After five years of negotiations 
Wildschut purchased the Braided Tail bundle upon the death of its 
last owner, Old Alligator (Crow Indian Medicine 'Bundles, p. 77). 

Chapter Twenty-Four 

i. This was probably the famous signer of the 1825 friendship treaty 
with the United States Government. In most of the early accounts of 
Crow life he is known as Long Hair for the extraordinary long locks 
which were his medicine. Of them Lowie says: "In the early thirties 
of the last century travellers noted the marvellous length of Chief 
Long Hair's hair, which was estimated at from 9 ft. r i inches to 10 ft. 
7 inches in length, which the wearer either carried under his arm or 
within the folds of his robe, only loosening it on festive occasions" 
(The Material Culture of the Crow Indians, p. 228). 

On September 22, 1930, Major General Hugh L. Scott and Montana 
House Representative Scott Leavitt were guests at a ceremony per- 
formed by Plenty Coups and Max Big Man. After ceremonial smudg- 
ing Plenty Coups unwrapped a medicine bundle and unrolled a lock 
of Long Hair's hair measuring seventy-six hands and one inch in 
length about 25 ft. 5 inches. Representative Leavitt wrote: "There 
was no evidence of any joining together of various locks" (Linder- 
man, Red Mother, pp. 254-256). 


2. Wildschut says that the central object in this medicine bundle was a 
stone of carved slate which One Child Woman, Sees The Living Bull's 
wife, found about three miles south of the old agency, on Fishtail 
Creek approximately twenty miles south of Columbus, Montana. The 
carvings of faces as shown in Wildschut's field photograph are un- 
questionably the work of some northwest coastal tribe; Wildschut 
suggests the Haida (Crow Indian Medicine Bundles, pp. 105-110). 

Grey Bull told Lowie of this medicine's reputation, and another of 
Lowie's informants said that its owner had been instructed not to eat 
tongue, an act which forbade its unveiling at the customary occasion 
for the opening of rock medicines, The Singing Of The Cooked Meat. 
After Medicine Crow was given the medicine from his stepfather he 
followed this taboo (Religion of the Crow Indians, p. 389). 

3. Among his list of ownership traits common to most plains tribes Ewers 
gives: "Horses individually owned, private property," and "Owner 
recognized his horses by their appearance and actions (no identifying 
marks placed on the animal)." Wildschut must have meant a herd 
composed of most of the horses owned by individuals in this village 
(John C. Ewers, The Horse in Blackfoot Indian Culture, with Com- 
parative Material from Other Western Tribes. Bureau of American 
Ethnology, Bulletin 159. [Washington: Government Printing Office, 
J 955] P- 3*3)- 

Chapter Twenty -Five 

i. Roe disagrees with such late use of dogs: "The Crow, while surrounded 
on all sides by tribes that used the dog travois, within the nineteenth 
century period covered by Lowie's informants and their immediate 
ancestors, confined their dog transport exclusively to packing, although 
they had formerly utilized the travois" (Frank Gilbert Roe, The 
Indian and the Horse. [Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1955], 
p. 19). 

Chapter Twenty-Six 

i. Pease Bottom was the site of Fort Pease, about eight miles northwest 
of the mouth of the Bighorn River on the north bank of the Yellow- 
stone River. Erected in June 1875 b 7 a trading party under the leader- 
ship of F. D. Pease, a former agent of the Crows, it was abandoned 
in March 1876 as a result of Sioux onslaughts. 

Chapter Twenty-Eight 

i. Plenty Coups told Wildschut a more detailed version of this disastrous 
war party: "A Crow war party discovered a Sioux camp near the 

present location of Forsyth, Montana. From this camp the Crows cap- 
tured about 100 horses, but they were discovered by the enemy and 
pursued. In the battle that followed two Crows were killed. They were 
Chicken Feet and White-Spot-on-the-Neck, the brother and brother- 
in-law of Big Shoulder. 

"The Crows were camped on the Yellowstone near the site of Hunt- 
ley when the returning war party reported the death of these young 
men, Big Shoulder then went out on the prairie, and choosing a place 
called Bear Home, a sharp rimrock about five miles north of present 
Billings, began to fast. Here he stayed for about five days before he 
received a vision." 

In this dream Big Shoulder saw buffalo creatures playing shinny, an 
Indian style of hockey, and his next war medicine consisted of the 
balls and stick of this game (Crow Indian Medicine Bundles, pp. 54- 

2. All the pipeholders' pipes collected by Wildschut have straight tu- 
bular stone bowls instead of the T-shaped calumet-style bowl used 
among the Sioux and other plains tribes (Ibid., pp. 162-163). 

Chapter Twenty-Nine 

i. A communique of the apparent unimportance of the one being deliv- 
ered here would probably have gone unrecorded. But the camp which 
so awed Two Leggings might have been that composed of the com- 
bined forces of Generals Terry and Crook after their 4,000 troops met 
on August n, 1876. In the words of General Nelson A. Miles: "We 
continued our journey up the Rosebud and I reported my command 
to Brigadier-General Terry. We formed part of our forces during the 
two months following, and moved up the Rosebud, where General 
Terry's troops joined those under Brigadier-General Crook. This 
brought the two department commanders together with one of the 
largest bodies of troops ever marshalled in that country" (Personal 
Recollections and Observations of General Nelson A. Miles. [New 
York: The Werner Company, 1897] PP- 215-216). 

Chapter Thirty 

i. Following the Custer massacre on June 25, 1876, Sitting Bull's forces 
stayed at Grand River until they moved to Cedar Creek to confer 
with General Nelson A. Miles, and afterwards to fight with him. Ves- 
tal writes of his subsequent meanderings: "After the skirmish with 
Bear Coat (Miles), Sitting Bull's mounted warriors easily ran away 
from the walking soldiers, and the story went that Sitting Bull was 
engaged in a 'mad flight' to the British Possessions. Canada lay two 


hundred miles due north a matter of five or six sleeps for a man in 
a hurry. Yet Sitting Bull did not arrive there until months later, May, 
'77. In fact his flight was so 'mad,' that apparently he mistook his di- 
rection, for he 'fled' southwest and was rambling up and down the 
Yellowstone from the Big Horns to the Powder and eastward, most 
of the winter" (Stanley Vestal, Sitting Bull, Champion of the Sioux. 
[Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1957], p. 206). 

Sitting Bull did not return to the States until July 1881, when he 
surrendered. If these were indeed his horses, Two Leggings and his 
party must have made their haul early in the winter of 1876-77 and 
not in the fall of 1897, as "three years after the battle of the Little 
Bighorn" would indicate. 

Chapter Thirty-One 

. Wrote Agent E. P. Briscoe of these transportation facilities on May 10, 
1888: "The military having possession of the desirable point of cross- 
ing, have established a ferry, and there is much complaint from them 
because they have to cross the Indians without pay" (Annual Report 
of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1888, p. 155). 

. After its survey crew had been dogged by Sioux during their plotting 
of the route in 1871-73, the Northern Pacific Railroad, its entire Mon- 
tana segment running along the Yellowstone River, was finally com- 
pleted in 1886. 

. If one could be sure of Two Leggings' 1 888 date for these events, Fort 
Custer's "Lump Nose" could possibly be identified as Colonel Nathan 
A. M. Dudley, Commanding Officer of the First Cavalry. 



Throughout my work on the manuscript I found myself forced to 
separate Two Leggings' facts from Wildschut's, or Jasper Long's, 
sometimes subjective interpretation of Crow life. Where something 
specific was recorded and explained there was little problem in tight- 
ening the passage: the unwrapping of a medicine bundle, the behavior 
at a certain Sun Dance, a series of camp moves. But when Wildschut 
attempted to evoke a mood, or to recreate Two Leggings' state of 
mind, the distinction grew elusive. Usually I coped with this by min- 
imizing, through grammatical constriction and word selection, the 
inauthentic tone. 

One question had to be settled immediately. If the manuscript had 
been constructed to incorporate Crow literary principles, it would be 
of primary importance to reconstruct these precisely. However, Rob- 
ert Lowie, the anthropologist whose studies constitute the major body 
of research on the tribe, tells how Crow narrative techniques can es- 
cape the most assiduous linguist. Wildschut, not speaking Crow and 
having no formal anthropological or linguistic training, could not have 
been aware of the close attention the Crows paid to antithesis, paral- 
lelism, repetition, hyperbole, soliloquy, rhetorical queries, and sym- 
bolic expression. While I have carefully salvaged what traces of these 
features remain, the absence of word-to-word translation rendered 
futile the hope of preserving Crow storytelling style. 

Some major changes were performed. Although I tried to parallel 
Wildchut's sentence order, I transformed his first-person dialogues 
into second-person exchanges. 

Wildschut placed Four Dance's and Sees The Living Bull's stories 
in an appendix. Since Two Leggings mentions how greatly such tales 
influenced his actions, it was thought more effective to include them 
where he heard them. 

Into the manuscript's earlier chapters Wildschut interjected his 


questions and Two Leggings' answers. Also, he included supplemen- 
tary material in a handful of footnotes, within parentheses, and in 
chapter prefaces which mostly contained unvarying descriptions of 
the interview situation. All this information has been either woven 
into the narrative, placed in the notes at the end of the text, or included 
in the present general introduction and chapter prefaces. 

Mrs. Taylor remembers that when Two Leggings sang the songs in 
his narration, Wildschut requested literal translations. They have not 
been altered. 

The following extractions illustrate the rewriting procedure. 


Original pp. 395-96 

Around its neck I had fastened a neck- 
lace of rock swallow feathers with 
small bells attached to it and a stuffed 
hawk was also tied to this necklace. 
When one watches the rock swal- 
lows, it will be noticed how very 
swiftly they fly, even when they are 
thickly crowded together, yet they 
never collide. They have a marvellous 
ability to swerve. That same power 
of dodging, even when closely pur- 
sued by enemies, was represented by 
the feather necklace attached to my 
horse. The bells on the necklace rep- 
resented the coming of a storm. When 
closely pursued by enemies, I would 
pray for a sudden storm to arise 
which, striking between my pursuers 
and myself, would retard their prog- 
ress, thus giving me a chance to es- 
cape. The hawk which hung from the 
necklace was of a swift-flying species; 
they also have long endurance, both 
qualities I wanted to impart to my 
horse by attaching the hawk to the 

Present Version, p. 170 

Around its neck I fastened a necklace 
of rock swallow feathers, small bells, 
and a stuffed hawk. When you watch 
rock swallows flying in a tight bunch 
you never see them touch. This neck- 
lace gave my horse that same power 
to dodge if I was chased. The bells 
meant a coming storm. If I was fol- 
lowed by enemies I would pray for a 
sudden storrn to come between us, 
slowing them down. The hawk was 
a fast high-flying kind that had long 
endurance; I wanted those qualities 
for my horse. 

Original p. 404 

We would probably have continued 
our antics a little longer had not 


Present Version, pp. 

We would have kept it up if Crooked 

Arm, the camp chief, had not ap- 

Crooked Arm, Chief of our camp, ap- 
proached. He apparently feared that 
we would go too far and now carried 
with him his uncovered medicine 
pipe. He approached me and as he of- 
fered it to me to smoke, he said: 

"You who are all my children and 
especially you, Two-Leggings, have 
pity on us and smoke this pipe." 

"Give him the pipe," I answered, 
indicating Boils-His-Leggings, "and if 
he accepts it, then will I smoke. It was 
not my fault this happened; he did the 
same to me first." 

Boils-His-Leggings now spoke and 

"Why should I smoke that pipe? 
Two-Leggings is a foolish man; he is 
not a medicine man and from this 
day on he will never again sing songs 
of victory or kill any more enemies." 

"What!" I answered, "you think 
that you are a medicine man, that you 
have enough power to prevent me 
from killing any more enemies, you 
who never had a dream yourself and 
who had to obtain your medicine 
from White-Fox. I will soon show 
you that your power is nothing to 

peared, carrying his medicine pipe 
uncovered. He invited us to smoke, 
saying we were all his children, espe- 
cially me, and asked us to have pity. 

I would only take the pipe if Boils 
His Leggings took it, since he had 
started this. Then Boils His Leggings 
said that I was foolish and not even a 
medicine man. From now on, he said, 
I would never sing victory songs or 
kill any enemies. 

I told him that he had never re- 
ceived a dream and had had to buy 
his medicine from White Fox. I prom- 
ised to show him that his power was 
nothing to me. 


Original p. 218 

This prayer completed, we all entered 
the sweat lodge where our Chiefs 
again prayed for us. After this cere- 
mony, we all plunged in the river, 
smoked for a while and talked over 
the various events of the previous day. 
Interesting details were added here 
and there by the men who had battled 
with our enemies, while many an act 
of bravery and cunning was heartily 
applauded by all of us. It was early 
morning before I finally sought my 
lodge again. I was tired but happy 
and before entering my lodge, I 

Present Version, p. $4 

When we all entered a sweatbath the 
chiefs prayed for us again. Afterward 
we bathed in the river and then 
smoked and talked over the day be- 
fore, adding details and remembering 
the brave things that were done. It 
was early morning when I returned to 
my tipi. All was still and the air was 
warm. Before going in I looked up at 
the sky, raised my arms, and prayed 
for all the powerful beings above to 
look at me. I told them I wanted to be 
a chief. I asked them to give me a long 
life and courage when I was in dan- 


looked up in the sky. The air was 
warm and no breath of wind stirred 
the leaves of the trees. The stillness of 
the night was only broken by the faint 
noise of an occasional tired but happy 
singer, singing his songs of victory or 
love. My hands raised towards the 
heavens above and looking at all that 
was above me, I prayed: 

"Oh, all you powerful beings above, 
look at me. I want to be a brave; I 
want to become a chief; give me long 
life and health. Help me and protect 
me and give me always courage in 
whatever danger I may be, or which 
may cross my path. Oh moon and 
stars, I humbly ask your aid," 

ger. I asked the moon and stars for 
their help. 


Original pp. 325-26 

One of the Piegans had a splendid 
horse, however, and soon rode well 
ahead of the rest. I knew I could out- 
run him, but on seeing him so far 
ahead of his comrades, I decided to 
play a trick on him and possibly kill 
him. As the sun was travelling toward 
its home in the west, we raced through 
coulees and over hills, maintaining 
about an even distance between my 
foremost pursuer, but all the time in- 
creasing the distance between him and 
the rest of his band. At last I felt safe 
in trying to ambush him and yet al- 
low myself sufficient time to escape 
from his companions. All I needed 
was a suitable place to carry out my 
plans. With this purpose in mind I 
searched the country ahead of me. I 
had descended into the dry bed of a 
little creek and was urging my horse 
down its crooked course. I passed 
bend after bend but not one sharp 
enough for my purpose. At last my 
time came and I felt reasonably sure 
that if successful in my plans, I could 
mount and be on my way again long 

Present Version, p. 139 

One Piegan, riding a good horse, was 
far ahead of his friends. I could out- 
run him but decided to trick him. We 
were galloping through coulees and 
over hills, keeping an even distance 
between us. But he kept pulling away 
from his men. Then I entered the 
course of a dry creek. After passing 
many half bends I noticed a rocky 
point that made the bed turn sharply. 
Reining in on the other side, I tied 
my horse to a tree and crouched be- 
hind some bushes. As I strung my bow 
and pulled an arrow back I could hear 
his horse running on the dry stones. 

before the rest of the Piegans were 
within bowshot. 

Some distance ahead of me I no- 
ticed a sharp rocky abutment deflect- 
ing the course of the creek so abruptly 
that an almost right angle bend was 
formed. To this spot I urged my 
horse at topmost speed. Rounding it, 
I suddenly reined in and dismounted. 
Fortunately I found some gnarled 
trees to which I tied my horse; they 
also gave welcome protection to my- 
self. My pursuer was not far behind 
and I could plainly hear the sound of 
his approaching horse. 

With bow ready strung, I awaited 
his approach, bent low behind the 
shrubbery on the bank of the little 
stream and a few feet above the river- 
bed. Somehow I never even consid- 
ered that I might be fighting a losing 

The sound of the horse racing over 
the pebbled bed of the stream warned 
me of the immediate approach of my 



Absaroke, xvi 

American Heritage Book of Indians, 

American Fur Company, xviii 

American Museum of Natural His- 
tory, So 

Amos Two Leggings, xiv, xv, xxi 

annuity goods from United States 
Government, 177-178 

Apache, 162 

Arapahoes, xvii, xx, 109, 162 

Arikaras, xx, 133 

Arrow Creek (see also Pryor Creek), 
20, 35, 61-62, 88, 101-104, 115- 
116, 121-122, 126, 163, 188-189 

Arrowhead Mountains (see also 

Pryor Mountains), 19, 60, 101, 
107-108, 115, 121, 126, 129, 189 

Assiniboines, xvii, xx, 177 

Atkinson, Henry, General, xix 

Atsina, xvii, 29, 177 

Bad Mountain, 56, 58, 64 
Badger Creek, 175 
Ballantine, 195 
Bank, 12 
Bannock, 184 
Bear, 55 
Bear Camp, 8 

Bear Creek, 3, 12, 15, 99, 166 
Bear Dance Song, 95-98 
Bear Grease, 134 
Bear In The \Vater, 109, 200 
Bear Looks, 91-93 
Bear Song Dance, 95 
Bear Up Above, 8-9 
Bear White Child legend, 6-10, 108, 


Beartooth Range, xvii, 172 
Bearpaw Mountains, xvii 
Beaver, 79 

Beckwourth, James, xviii 
Bell Rock, 97 
Belly Robe, 52 
Belt Mountains, 71, 206 
Big Belly clan, 66 
Big Bird Above, 182 
Big Boat, 17-18 

Big Crane, 12, 6, 115, 118, 200 
Big Lake, 125-126, 156, 159 
Big Man, Max, 209 

Big River (see also Missouri River), 
i, 12, 18-19, 31, 42-43, 74, 80, 89, 
9 2 ~93 95 nB, 153, 163, 169, 176, 

Big Shoulder, 178-180, 211 
Big Shoulder Creek, 85 
Bighorn Mountains, xvii, 40, 62, 74, 
88, 105, in, 156, 159, 167, 172, 
189, 204 

Bighorn River, xiii, xviii, i, 4, 19, 21, 
30, 39, 44, 49, 62, 64-65, 85-87, 98, 
104, 108, 121, 142, 167, 176, 186, 
1 88, 193194, 204, 210, 212 
Bighorn Valley, 30, 35, 189, 205 
Billings, Montana, 35, 58-59, 103-104 
Billings Gazette, xv 
Bird Above AH The Mountains, 63 
Bird Fire, 195 
Bird Going Up, 146-147 
Bird Has A Shirt, 145 
Bird Home Mountains, 58-59, 211 
Bird On The Prairie, 169 
Black Buttes, 159 
Black Canyon, 62, 88 
Black Earth, 15 

Black Hair, 168 

Black Head, 3-4, 122-124 

Black Hills, xvii 

Black Lodges (see also River Crows), 
74-75, 78, 89 ^ 

Black Lodges, xvii 

Black Robes, 27 

Blackfeet, xxi, 18, 29, 71, 162, 174- 
175, 200-201 

Blackfeet Raiders of the Northwest- 
ern Plains, The, cited, 198, 200 

Blood (Blackfeet band) , 200 

Blue Creek, 103 

Blue Handle, 56 

Bob Tail Wolf, 12, 124, 126, 168-169 

Boiling Waters, 29 

Boils His Leggings, 124, 173-174, 215 

Bozeman Trail, xvi, xviii, 204 

Braided Tail, 134-135, 209, 212 

Briscoe, E. P., Agent, 2 1 2 

Bucket Leg, 150 

Buffalo Calf, 195-196 

Buffalo Heart Mountain, 68, 88, 126, 
128, 156 

buffalo hunts, 155 

Buffalo Lump, 96-97 

herds of, 90, 156 
hunting of, 19-20, 29-31, 33, 103, 

155, 193 
medicine songs for, 82, 87, 108, 157, 

Bull Does Not Fall Down, xiii, 37, 56, 

88, 98, 200 
Bull Eye, 134-135 
Bull Goes Hunting, xv, 73 
Bull Mountains, 116, 121-123 
Bull Shield, 81-83 
Bull Water, 81 
Bull Weasel, 1 19 
Bull Well Known, 88 
burials, 209 

Burns Himself, 131, 145-146 
Bushy Head, 40, 116-118 
Bushy Pine Hill, KO 

Camp, E.M., Agent, 177 

Canada, 162, 192 

cannibalism, 203 

captives, 29 

Cass, Lewis, Secretary of War, xix 

Cedar Creek, 211 

Chases The Enemy Wearing A 

Coyote Hide On His Back, xiv~ 

Cherry Hill, 150 
Cheyennes, xvii, xx, 40-45, 106, 109, 

III-H2, 121, 185, 208 
Chicago Field Museum, 73 
Chicken Feet, 211 
Chicken Hawk Cap, 150 
chiefs, 87 
childbirth, i 
Children Of The Large-Beaked Bird, 


chokecherries, 74, 96, 98, 149, 163, 177 
Chouteau, Pierre, xviii 
clans, 17, 66, 199-200 
Clear On The Forehead, 160, 163 
Cody, 20-21, 39, 68, 74, 88 
Cold Wind, 109-110, 208 
Columbia Fur Company, xviii 
Comanches, xx 

Comes Out Of The Water, 51, 176 
council of chiefs, 87 
coups, 34 
coupstick, 178 

Covers Himself With The Grass, 62 
Coyote, 101, 165, 178 
Coyote's Penis, 101 
Crane Goes To The Wind, 45 
Crazy Dog, 49 
Crazy Mountains, 58-59 
Crazy Sister-In-Law, 52 
Crazy Wolf, 146 
Crook, George, General, 184, 211 
Crooked Arm, 19, 43-47, 88, 98-103, 
119, 121-122, 126, 128-129, 136, 
142, 146, 173-174, 178, 201, 205, 

Crooked River, 76 
Crow Indians, The, cited, 198-202, 


Crow Indian Beadwork, xiii 
Croiv Indian Medicine Bundles, cited, 
xiii, 108, 198-199, 202, 205, 209, 
Crows (see also Mountain Crows; 

River Crows): 
burials of, 209 

camp life of, xxi, 71, 136, 165, 204 
ceremonials of, 22-23, 44, 47, 55, 95, 


chiefs, 87 

cultural traits of, 29, 39, 55, 66, 73 
geographical names, 101 


Crows (cont^) 
as hunters and warriors, 29, 90, 

105, 127, 162, 193, 203 
Indian agency for, xiv, 85, 150 
religion of, 23-24, 26-27, 202 
trading post, xviii 
as U.S. cavalry scouts, 184 

Culbertson, Alexander, 204 

Curley, 159, 176 

Curtis, Edward S., xiv, xv, xvi, xxi, 
198-202, 204 

Custer, George A., General, 101, 133, 

184, 211 

Cuts The Turnip, 68, 145 

Deaf Bull, xv 

Deer River, 70, 74 

de Smet, Pierre, xx 

Denig, Edwin T., xvi, xxi, 198 

Devil's Lake, xvi 

Devil's Pocket, 98 

Dipper Creek, 85 

Dkt Creek, 132 

Discovered Plant, 51 

Dockstader, Frederick J,, Dr., xiv, xxi 

Does Not Care For Women, 58 

Does Not Turn Back, 14 

dolls, Sun Dance, 44-45, 47, 49, 205, 


dreams, 61, 116, 152, 166 
Dry Creek, 163, 177 
Dry Head Creek, 61 
Dudley, Nathan A.M., Colonel, 212 
Dwarf Buttes, 102 

eagles, 34, 71, 74, 82-83, 125, 135, 151- 

152, 159, 179. 194 

Earth Lodges, xvii 

Eats The Ear, 4-5 

Elk River (see also Yellowstone 
River), 1-3, 35, 49, 56, 58, 68, 78, 
81, 94-95, 103-104, 106, 114, 121- 
122, 144, 160, 165, 177, 179-180, 

185, 1 88, 195 

Elk River Valley, 20, 103, 172, 195 
Ewers, John C., xiii, xvi, xxi, 198, 200, 


Face Turned Round, 145-146, 152 
farming, 188, 193 
fasting, 23-27, 38, 88, 146 
Female Face, 160 
Fence, 195 


Few, 124 
Fire Wing, 109 

First Worker, 23-24, 27, 39, 202-203 
Fitzpatrick, Tom, xx 
Five Indian Tribes of the Upper Mis- 
souri, cited, xix 
Flatt Butte, 180 
Flathead, 29, 90-93, 95, 148 
Flesh, 97 

Fly Creek, 188, 195 
Forsyth, 68, 184, 211 
Fort Laramie Peace Commission, xx, 


Benton, 35, 174, 177, 204 

Browning, 207 

Cass, xviii 

C, F. Smith, xv, xviii, 37, 104-105, 

Custer, xiii, 30, 65, 193, 196*, 204, 212 

Ellis, 177 

Laramie, xx, 177 

Maginniss, 201 

Pease, 210 

Peck, xv 

Sarpy, xviii 

Union, xix, i 

Van Buren, xviii 
Four, xiv, i 
Four Dance, 58, 213 
Fox warrior society, 152, 167-169, 171- 
174, 208 

gambling, 26 

Gets A Shield, 176 

Getting A Sword, 81-82 

ghosts, 27 

Gibbon, John, General, 73, 184 

Goes Around All The Time, 73, 189, 

Goes First, 124-126 

Grass Lodges, xvii 

Great Above Person, 30, 36, 46-47, 50, 
53-54, 58, 62-64, 68, 74-75, 88, 90, 
94, 100, 102, 1 06, 109, 113, 118, 
121, 123-124, 128, 130, 135, 140, 
144-145, 150, 158, 161, 169, 176, 
179-182, 190 

Great Falls, 136 

Great Unmarried Man, in, 113-114 

Grey Bull, 210 

Grey Dog, 2, 19, 201 

Gros Ventres, xvii, xx, 18, 35, 200, 

Guadagno, Carmelo, xxi 

Gun River, 18 

Hairy Noses, xvii 

Hairy Wolf, 83 

Half Yellow Face, 20-21, 109-112, 133 

Hardin, xvi, 19, 44, 49, 81, 188 

Hard To Camp With, 31-32 

Has A Red Feather On The Side Of 

His Head (see also Long Hair), 


Hawk High Up, 123, 208 
Hawk Medicine, 208 
He First Made All Things, 202 
He That Mixes, 127 
Head Of A Man, 97 
Heart Mountain, 192 
hermaphrodites, 83, 207 
Hesitates, 146 
Heye Foundation, xiii, xxi 
Hidatsa, xvi, xix, 29, 95, 127, 200, 208 
Hide Flesher Mountain, 177 
High Hawk, 163-164, 170-171, 182 
High Peak In The Middle, 119 
Hillside, 169 

His Eyes Are Dreamy, 115 
Hits Herself, 115 
Hits With The Arrows (see also 

Pryor Gap), 88, 101, 121, 126 
Holds By The Gun, 44, 58 
Horse Creek, xx 
Horse in Blackfoot Indian Culture, 

The, 210 
horses, 33-34, 38, 40, 49, 85-86, 89, 95, 

100, 105, 108, 120, 125, 176, 191, 


Howard, Oliver, General, 29, 184 
Hunkpapa (Sioux tribe) , xv 
Huntley, 208, 211 
Hunts The Enemy, 90-93, 108, 133- 


Indian and the Horse, The, cited, 210 
Indian Affairs, Bureau of, xix, 193 
Indian Agency, 177, 188, 193 
Interior, Department of the, 80 
Iron Bull, 129, 209 

Joseph, 29 

Judith Basin, 201, 207 

Kainah (Blackf eet band) , 200 
Kelly, Luther S., 201 
Kicked In The Bellies, xvii, 2, 201 
Kind Hearted Old Man, 169 
kinship, 17 
Kiowas, 29 
Knife River, xvi 
Knows His Ground, 174 

La Verendrye, Pierre G.V., xvii 

land, cession of, 188 

Laramie Peace Commission, xx 

Larocque, Frangois, xviii 

Leforge, Thomas H., xv, 201-202, 207 

legends, xxi, 6, 24, 73, 199, 200 

Lets The Women Stand, 15 

Lewistown, 101 

Lie In A Line, 32 

Linderman, Frank Bird, xxi, 198, 201- 
202, 205, 207, 209 

Little Belt, 145 

Little Bighorn River, xxi, 29, 37, 65, 
85, 98, 105, 121, 167, 188, 204 

Little Face, 145 

Little Fire, 56 

Little Heart, 137, 141, 168 

Little Horse, 135 

Little Rockies, 89, 163 

Little Soldier Chief, 133 

Little Tipi Creek, 156 

Livingston, 56, 58, 177-178, 188 

Lodges At The Extreme End, xvii 

Long, Jasper, xxi, 213 

Long Beard, 122 

Long Hair (see also Has A Red Feath- 
er On The Side Of His Head), 
xviii, xix, 209 

Long Horse, 2, 19, 201 

Long Mountain, 9 

Long Otter, 179-180, 183 

Looking Glass, 29 

Looks All Over The Earth, 63 

Looks At A Bull's Penis, xv, 73 

Lots Of Bear, 97 

Loud Hawk, 125 

Loud Sounding River, 76 

love medicine, 165, 208 

Lowie, Robert, xii, xv, xxi, 80, 198- 
200, 202, 204, 206-207, 209, 213 

Lump Nose, 196, 212 

Lump wood warrior society, 49, 69, 
143, 167-168, 173-174, 204* 2o8 


Man Who Can Talk English, 128 

Mandans, xvi, xvii, xix, 29, 200 

Many Lodges, 2, 19, 78, 175 

Many Tattoos, xvii 

Marquis, Thomas B., Dr., xv, 198, 

2OI-2O2, 207 

marriage, 49, 74 

Material Culture of the Crow Indian, 

The, cited, 198, 200, 204, 206, 209 
Maximilian, Prince, xviii 
McGirl, Thomas, 122 
McKenzie, Alexander, xviii 
medicine, 39, 43, 99, no, 146, 172, 190, 

194, 203-204 
Medicine Arrow, 5 
Medicine Bear, 81, 90 
medicine bird, 122 
medicine bundles, 29, 43, 87, 97, 108, 

116, 149, 180, 204, 208, 210 
Medicine Crow, 56-57, 62-65, 73. 75* 

103-104, 174-175* 189-192, 210 
Medicine Crow, Joseph, 199 
Medicine Dream Buttes, 102 
medicine dreams (see also visions) , 26, 

medicine father, 52, 66, 144, 146, i5~ 

153, 165, 169, 179, 189 
medicine men, 6, 23, 26, 71, 96, 119, 

127, 150* J 59 2 9 
Medicine Pipe, 95, 180 
Medicine Porcupine, 107 
medicine songs, 46, 51, 70-71, 77, 106, 

124, 140, 163, 170-171, 182-183, 


Medicine Thunder, 4 
Meldrum, Robert, xix 
Memoirs of a White Crow Indian, 

cited, xvi, 201-202, 207 
Menard, xvii 

Miles, Nelson A., General, 184, 211 
Miles City, 2 

Missouri, xviii, xix, 206-207 
Missouri Fur Company, xviii 
Missouri River (see Big River) 
Mitchell, D.D., Superintendent, xx 
moon, 17, 25, 74, 94, 152 ^ 
Morgan, Lewis Henry, xix 
Mountain Crows, xvii, xx, 128-129, 

143-144, 155, 165, 177, 208 
Mountain Lion's lodge, 114, 116-117, 

121-122, 172, 188 
Mouse Walks, 62 
Muddy Creek, 78, 167 


murder, 27, 44 

Museum of the American Indian, xi, 

xiii, xxi 

Museum of Natural History, xll 
Musselshell River, 12, 18, 31, 35, 49, 

52, 56, 58, 64, 72, 74, 78, 97, 99, 

101, II6-II7, 121, 123, 136, 153, 
163, 165, 176-178, 189 

Musselshell Valley, 163 
myths, 24, 73, 200 

name giving, i, 101, 115 

Neck Bone, 131-132, 145-146 

Never Dies, 135-136 

Nez Perces, xvii, 29, 162, 184, 200, 208 

No Fears, 128 

No Horse, 207 

No Vitals, xvi, xvii, 127 

No Wife, xiv 

North American Indian, The, cited, 

xiv, xxl, 198-200, 204-206, 208 
North Dakota, xvi, 120 
Northern Pacific Railroad, 188, 212 
Northwest Company, xviii 
Not Dangerous, 149 
Not Mixed clan, 66, 133 

Of the Crow Nation, xviii 
Old Alligator, 209 
Old Baldy, 40 

Old Dog, 93, 99, 115, 118, 128 
Old Man Coyote, 25, 27, 202 
Old Man Wolf, 7 
Old Tobacco, 126 
Old White Man, 169 
Old Woman, 105 

One Blue Bead, 122, 124-125, 181-182 
One Child Woman, 210 
One Eye, 6-10 
One Fingered Bear, 85 
One Leg, 194-196 
One Up There In The Sky, 67, 194 
One Who Owns The Camp, 87 
One Who Owns The War Party, n 
Onion, 81 

Other Side Camp, 24-27, 58, 74, 116, 

Painted Blanket Creek, 180-181 
Paints His Body Red, 124, 170 

Pale Face, 170 

Park City, 59, 179-180 

Passes All The Women, 58 

Pease, Fellows D., 210 

Pease Bottom, 165 

pemmican, 96, 140 

Pend d'Orieile, 133 

Piegan (personal name), 41-42, 66-68, 
77-78, 132-134, 136, 138-141 

Piegans (Blackfeet band), xv, 6, 12- 
19, 29, 31-39, 70, 76, 80, 88, 97, 
99, 136, 138, 140, 174, 194-197, 200, 

Pierced Noses, xvii 

Pine Ridge Hills, 20, 35, 121, 194-195 

pipeholder, u, 40, 52, 67-69, 71, 83- 
84, 95, 99, 102, 104, 109, 116, 128, 
133, 144, 150, I53~i54, *5<5, 165, 
168, 174, 179-181, 194, 204, 2ii 

Plain Face, 168 

Plain Weasel, 15 

Plenty Bear, 135, 136 

Plenty Coups, 80, 199, 201, 204, 207, 

Plenty Coups, Chief of the Crows, 
cited, 201-202, 205, 207 

Plenty Screeching Owl, 62 

Plum Creek, 76, 78, 91, 116-118, 175, 
192, 207 

Poor Face, 109 

Poor Lodges, xvii 

Poor Wolf, 32 

Porcupine Creek, 68, 165 

Porcupine Hill, 134, 136 

Powder River, 101, 149, 212 

Pozash, 41-43 

Prairie Gros Ventres, xvii 

prayer, 24, 27, 46-47, 121, 132, 146, 
151, 158, 179-180, 189 

Pretty Face, 30 

Pretty Hawk, 3-4 

Pretty Old Man, 194-196 

Pretty Tail, 182 

Pryor Creek (see also Arrow Creek), 

Pryor Gap (see also Hits With The 
Arrows), 101 

Pryor Mountains (see also Arrow- 
head Mountains), 101 

Puts Earth On Top Of His Head, 44- 

Quaife, Milo M., 201 

raids, 162 

railroad, 188, 195, 212 

Rattle Mountain, 69-71 

Rawhide, 178 

Red Bear, 2, 128, 151, 208 

Red Cherry Creek, 34 

Red Clay Woman, xiv 

Red Cloud, 204 

Red Coats, 18 

Red Hail, 156 

Red Lodge, 34, 43, 89 

Red Mother, 209 

Red Top Hill, 150 

Religion of the Crow Indians, xv, 

198-199, 210 
Reno, Captain, 37, 133 
reservations, 80, 155, 177, 188, 193, 196, 

20 1, 204, 207 

Rides The White Horse, 97 
Rise Up, 32 
River Crows (see also Black Lodges) , 

xvii, xix, 44, 128-129, 132-133, 144, 

155, 162, 177, 188, 206-207 
rock medicine, 28, 35, 95, 108, 132, 153, 

204, 210 
Rock Pile, 68 

Rocky Mountain Fur Company, xviii 
Roe, Frank Gilbert, 210 
Rolls Himself, 15 
Rosebud Creek Agency, 80 
Rosebud River, xviii, 185, 188 
Rotten Belly, xvii, xix 
Rotten Grass Creek, 65, 85, 105, 167 
Roundup, 117 

sacrifices, 64 

St. Xavier, Mission of, 36, 50, 128 

scalping raids, 36, 38, 90, 93, 164-165, 
168, 171-173, 196 

Scar On The Mouth, 146 

Scott, Hugh L., General, 209 

scouting forays, 73, 149, 157, 184, 186 

See Under, 128, 146 

Sees The Living Bull, 61-63, 73-78, 
88, 93-94* 104, 108, 114, 127-136, 
142-146, 150, 162, 205, 213 

Sends Him Home, 16 

Sews His Guts, 35-36 

Sharp Lance, 15-16 

Shell On The Neck, 93, 107 

Sheridan, in 

Short Bull, 196 

Short Horn, 21 


Shoshoms, xvii, 20, 29, 148 

Shot In The Arm, 122 

Shot In The Face, 51 

Shot In The Hand, 150 

Shows His Face, 44-45, 47 8l 

Shows His Tail, 62, 65 

Shows His Wing, 12-14, 200 

sign language, xiii, 77, 184 

Simms, S. C., 73 

Simonin, M., xx 

Singing Of The Crooked Meat, 95 

Sings To The Sweat Lodge, xiv 

Sioux, xx, 29, 39, 67, 74, 81, 85-88, 

IOO, IO2, I04-IO6, Il6, Il8, 122- 

126, 145, 149, 164, 168, 170-172, 
176-178, 182-188, 190-193, 196- 

197, 201, 208 

Sioux Dakota Reservation, 204 

Sits Down, 57 

Sits In The Middle Of The Land, xx, 

19^ 35 73 97> 2GI 
Sits Toward The Mountain, 169 
Sitting Bull, 192, 211 
Sitting Bull, Champion of the Sioux, 

cited, 212 

Skin On The Forehead, 102 
Slayton, 78 
Small Face, 131 
Small Heart, 91 
Small Sun, 97-98 
smoke signals, 35 
Snake Hill, 169-170 
Snow Mountain, 59 
Snowy Mountain, 19 
Snowy Mountains, 35 
Social Life of the Crow Indians, cited, 


soldiers, United States, 185-186, 193 
songs, 55 

Son Of The Morning Star, 133 
Sore Tail, 2 

Spotted Horse, 20, 52-53* 185-186 
Stands Among Them, 160 
stars, 24-25, 141, 152 
Starter Of All Things, 202 
Stays Among The Birds, 15 
Stays Among The Buffalo, 102 
Stinking Water, 39 
Stone Pile, 163 
Stops, Roger, 199 
storytelling, 22 
Straight Calf, 171 


Strap, 32-33 

Striped Feather Arrows, xvu 

Strikes At Different Camps, xiv, i 

suicides, 27 

Sully, A., Superintendent, 177 

Sun, 25, 94, 104, 130, 152, 202 

Sun Dance, 27, 29, 44-45, 47, 49-5* 

52, 81, 84-85, 108-109, 201, 207, 


Sun Dance bundle, 45, 108 
Sun Dance doll, 45, 58, 81, 84, 205 
Sun Dance lodge, 46, 81, 84 
supplies, 156 
sweat lodge, 27, 61, 64, 67-68, 70, 94, 

99-100, 104, 118-119, 130-131, 144- 

149, 162, 179, 203 
Swordbearer incident, 184, 193 

Taylor, Mrs, L.A., xiH, xxi 

Ten Bear, 135, 138 

Teton Sioux, xvii 

Terry, Alfred H., General, 211 

They That Cut Off Our Heads, xvii 

They Who Refused The Paunch, xvi 

Three Mountain, 89 

Three Wolves, 40, 150 

Thunderbird, 62-63, 124 

Ties Up Her Bundle, xiv 

Tobacco, 105, 143-145, 23i 2O 5 
adoption dance, 143 
Dance of, 128-129, 144, 175 
society of, 66, 95, 127, 143 

Toluca, 195 

Tongue River, xviii, 88 

trade, 76 

transportation, 201, 210 

Treacherous clan, 6 

tribal alliances, 29 

Trout Creek, 136 

Trudeau, Jean Baptiste, xvii 

Tullock Creek, 186 

Twins, 76 

Twists His Tail, 162 

Two Belly, 12-14, 99-100, 103, 115, 
118-122, 126, 128, 142, 146, 155- 
162, 178, 184-186, 189 

Two Leggings: 

ambitions of, 55, 102 
boyhood of, 1-2, 5-6, 61, 127 
discrepancies of stories, 201, 206 
early names of, 115, 118, 120, 127, 
'33* 143 

first coup of, 36 

love life of, 49, 176 

on pantheism, 22-23, 200 

and United States Cavalry, 185, 212 
Two Leggings Creek, 85-86 
Two Stars, 174-175 

Union Pacific Railroad, 188 
Utes, xvii, 40 

Vestal, Stanley, 212 
visions, 49-50, 61, 64, 88, 99, 150, 153, 

Walking Mouse, 56 

Walks Toward The Two Mountains, 


war bonnets, 185 
war insignia, 34 
war medicine bundles, no, 181 
war parties, 39, 64, 69, 75, 78, 86, 89, 

101, 116, 145, 153, 165, 168, 172, 

189, 2O4, 2IO 

Warm Water, 79 

warrior societies, 6, 29, 49, 87, 133, 


Washkie, 29 
weapons, 35, 190, 194 
Wears A Mustache, 42 
Weasel Sits Down, 117, 178 
West Hill, 150 

Where The Bear Sits Down Moun- 
tain, 99, 189 

Where The Dog Bites, 169 
Where The Gros Ventre Sun Dance 

Tipi Stands, 169 
Where The Lightning Strikes, 153, 

162-163, 169 

Where The Moccasin Hangs, 101 
Where The Thunderbird Sits Down 

Mountain, 62, 75, 88 
Where The White Clay Is, 169 
Where They Ran Away From Camp 

Creek, 180-181 

Where They See The Rope, 101 
whiskey peddlers, 188 
White Man Above In The Sky, 75, 

Whistling Waters clan, i, 6-10, 73, 


White Around The Edges, 76 
White Buffalo, 14 

White Child, 199 

White Clay On The Forehead, 194 

White Eye, 196 

White Fox, 174 

White From The Waist Up, 91-92 

White Man Above In The Sky, 75, 


White Man Runs Him, 101 
White Mouth, 148 
White On The Neck, 80-86, 211 
White On The Side Of His Head, 

J 9>74 

White Swan, 133 
Wildschut, William, xi, xiii, xxi, 22, 

39, 61, 73, 80, 193, 198-204, 206- 
^ 207, 210, 213 

Williamson, H., Agent, 184, 193 
Willow Creek, 99 
Willow Top, 135 
Wind River Shoshonis, 80 
Wise Ones, 3, 6, 22, 32, 67-68, 121 
Without Fires, 8, 24-26, 43, 46, 48, 55, 


Wolf Bear, 104, 108-109, 168-171 
Wolf Cap, 12 
Wolf Chaser, xv, 2-3, 17, 19-20, 33, 


Wolf Creek, 69 
Wolf Goes To Drink, 21 
Wolf Head, 40-41, 43 
Wolf Mountains, 44, 88, 121, 168-169, 


Wolf Runner, 64 
Wolf Tail, 134 
Woman Does Not Know Anything, 

Woman Face, 163 
Women Leggings, 58 
Woody Creek, 35, 85, 98 
Wraps Up His Tail, 184 
Wrinkled Face, 89 
Wyoming, xvii, xx, 39 

Yanktonai (Sioux tribe) , xv 
Yellow Bull, 200 
Yellow Crane, 150 
Yellow Legs, xvii 
Yellow Weasel, 62 
Yellow Willow Creek, 136, 142 
Yellowstone Kelly, The Memoirs of 
Luther S. Kelly, 201 


Yellowstone Valley, i6z, 204, an 

Rabbit, 6, 


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